With the Australian Men’s Cricket Team on sabbatical before the India tour, Steve Smith will play his first BBL game of the summer on Sunday.
Smith boosts a Sydney Sixers side well in contention once more, presently sitting second on the table. Excited to take his place in the lineup, Smith fronted the media ahead of his return to the league.
“I’m excited to be back in magenta,” Smith said.
“I really love playing with this group of guys, I’ve been involved with the Sixers since the very first Big Bash, so it’s great to be back [with] a lot of familiar faces, and [I’m] excited to get started.”
Like Smith, the rest of the test team will be suiting up over the next few games, a welcome boost for the competition. Smith spoke about the potential of a change in the schedule that is under discussion by Cricket Australia, to allow himself and others to play more BBL games in future.
“I think being able to get the best players in Australia and [also] overseas players to play in our league [is the key],” he said.
“I don’t know the way to do it, but that’s going to be the goal for Cricket Australia I assume, to get the best players involved for as long as we can.
“[It’s a bit of a case of] money talks at times, definitely, particularly with the other tournaments around the world that overseas players are able to play in.I think it [money], at times, certainly talks and the length of it certainly talks. We’ll wait and see.”
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The test series in India is on the horizon and he, alongside the rest of the touring squad will be preparing to continue their strong form when the series kicks off on the ninth of February.
Despite quick games throughout the summer, most notably the two-day test at the Gabba, Smith is certain it will have no impact on the series on the sub-continent.
“Yeah, I’d like flatter wickets [so we can] go for a bit longer [and] I could bat for longer, [although] there were a couple of flat ones this summer, which was nice,” he said.
“I don’t think it makes a huge difference, guys have had plenty of time on their legs [and] they got into the rhythm of playing red-ball cricket.
“Playing in the sub-continent is a completely different beast, you never know, they might be quick games over there as well if they start with real spinning wickets.
“We’re going to be prepared, we’ve picked a squad with all bases covered, [and] it should be a good six months of cricket, with India and then the Ashes. As an Australian cricketer, they’re the two biggest hurdles. It’s going to be an exciting six months.”
With the Sydney Smash coming up, it will be a rare opportunity for Smith to face David Warner as a rival rather than a teammate, with it being a while since their last such encounter.
“I don’t know, it’s been a while,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to that game, the Sydney Smash is always great, and with [myself] and ‘Davey’ back, we can make it even bigger I suppose.
“It’s always a great game, we have a good rivalry with the Thunder, and we have a good rivalry with the Scorchers as well, playing in plenty of finals over the years so I’m looking forward to that first, and then the Smash should be really good fun.”
“I’m looking forward to the back half of this season.”
The Sixers and Scorchers face off on Sunday at the SCG in what could be a top-of-the-table clash.
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