Sussex rope in Steve Smith for three County Championship games


Sussex County Cricket Club has confirmed the signing of senior Australian batter Steve Smith on a short-term deal for the upcoming four-day County Championship matches. The right-handed batter will be available for three games in a bid to prepare for the Ashes 2023.

It will also be his first stint in English county cricket since debuting in Test cricket in 2010. Earlier, ESPNCricinfo reported that Smith targeted a Division one county side, with Kent as the likeliest, given his links following a stint in club cricket at Sevenoaks Vine CC in 2007.

However, the club’s situation and Smith’s availability meant the stars did not align and the former Aussie skipper penned a deal with Sussex.

Sussex welcomed the seasoned Aussie batter for the upcoming season who will join Cheteshwar Pujara, who agreed to return in October for the 2023 season. He will be available to play two away matches against Worcestershire (May 4) and Leicestershire (May 11), followed by a home game against Glamorgan (May 18).

Reflecting on his decision to play for Sussex, the New South Wales batter said, as quoted by the official website:

“I am excited about joining Sussex for a few games in May and hopefully making a contribution to a successful season. I am particularly looking forward to working with the younger players in the squad and hoping I can provide some guidance to them.”

Currently, the 33-year-old is ranked second in the ICC Test batting rankings, averaging 60.89 after 92 Tests with 30 tons. The former Australian captain stands second behind Sir Don Bradman for ICC All-Time Test rating points.

“We are thrilled to have Steve Smith available for our County Championship matches in May” – Sussex Cricket CEO Rob Andrew

Steve Smith in action during Ashes 2019. (Credits: Getty)
Steve Smith in action during Ashes 2019. (Credits: Getty)

Sussex Cricket CEO Rob Andrew expects Smith’s availability to benefit the young cricketers greatly, especially during the year of a home Ashes series. Andrew added:

“We are thrilled to have Steve Smith available for our County Championship matches in May. To have arguably the world’s best batter play for Sussex just before an eagerly awaited Ashes Test series is great for us and the County Championship.”

“Being able to attract a player of Steve Smith’s calibre is a massive statement and will be of great benefit to our young homegrown players, particularly our crop of talented young batters,” he continued further.

The stint with Sussex will gear him up for the Ashes series on English soil in June. The right-handed batter starred with a gargantuan 774 runs in four Tests in the 2019 leg as Australia retained the urn with a 2-2 result.

The veteran cricketer is currently plying his trade for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League (BBL) and will next travel to India to feature in a four-match Test tour, starting on February 9.

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