Steven Smith is set to play his second T20 tournament after being axed from Australian cricket for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal. Smith has now signed with Barbados Tridents for the upcoming CPL season after he played the Global T20 Canada tournament earlier this month. Smith will replace Shakib Al Hasan in the Tridents squad as the Bangladesh allrounder is no longer available for the tournament.
“It is a huge blow to lose Shakib for the tournament but in Steve Smith we have a truly world-class replacement who can help to bring power to our batting lineup,” Tridents coach Robin Singh said. “As a man who has played cricket at the highest level all over the world we are very confident that Smith will be a big success with the Tridents.”
David Warner, who was also banned for one year from Australian cricket like Smith, is going to represent St Lucia Stars in the CPL.
After Smith was banned by Cricket Australia in March, he returned to competitive cricket in June to represent Toronto Nationals in the Global T20 Canada tournament and scored a half-century in his first match. Even though his team finished last overall, Smith played six innings and scored 167 runs with two fifties at an average of 33.40 and strike rate of 119.28. On his return to the field, Smith had spoken about how he had been making “horrible decisions” in the aftermath of last summer’s Ashes series, culminating in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
Last month, Darren Sammy had asked the media to get off Smith’s back because of the heightened attention he attracted since the ball-tampering fiasco. A day later, Smith’s compatriot Shane Watson stated he wanted Cricket Australia to allow Smith and Warner to play in the Big Bash League if they were participating in other leagues.
Tridents had an unimpressive season last year when they finished second-last with four wins from 10 matches. This season, they will be led by Jason Holder, who will take over from Kieron Pollard. The CPL will run from August 8 to September 16 this time, with Tridents’ first match on August 13 against Guyana Amazon Warriors.