BESEIGED Australia captain Steve Smith stood down from the captaincy of IPL franchise the Rajasthan Royals on Monday.

The decision was revealed in a statement which said, "It's in the best interest of the Rajasthan Royals that he steps down as Captain so the team can get ready for the start of the IPL without the ongoing distractions."

TOUGH: Smith, Warner could miss Ashes, World Cup

Royals' head of cricket Zubin Bharucha said, "The incident in Cape Town has certainly disturbed the cricket world.

We have been in constant touch with the BCCI and taken their counsel. Furthermore we have been in regular contact with Steve."

Royals co-owner Manoj Badale added: "The game is bigger than any individual and we hold this thought close to our heart."

News Corp Australia

PHOTOS: Blackbutt Show a roaring success

premium_icon PHOTOS: Blackbutt Show a roaring success

Out and about at the 85th annual Blackbutt Show.

All on the line at Boondooma Open

premium_icon All on the line at Boondooma Open

Keen anglers take to water for fishing comp.

Burnett roads claim two lives over horror weekend

premium_icon Burnett roads claim two lives over horror weekend

Drivers are urged to take care and remember the fatal five.