Steven Smith is in line to make his first BBL appearance in six years after rejoining the Sydney Sixers with the Australian schedule allowing a small window for internationals to appear.
Smith, who was part of the Sixers team that won the first BBL and last appeared in 2014, could be available for the final two regular-season matches following Australia’s ODI tour of India in mid-January and then the finals series if the Sixers make it that far.
Australia’s last ODI in India is on January 19 with the Sixers then having matches on January 23 (Brisbane Heat) and January 25 (Melbourne Renegades) before the finals.
“When the schedule of the BBL is out and I noticed there was a possibility to diminish the Magenta again I jumped at the chance and look ahead to joining up with the unit after my January national team responsibilities have ended,” Smith said.
Smith has recently showcased his T20 skills with a brilliant unbeaten 80 off 51 balls in the run chase against Pakistan in Canberra alongside another unbeaten fifty against Sri Lanka in what was his first T20Is for three and a half years.
“While I know the fans will and should be excited by this development, our players will benefit from his skills, support, and perspectives on the game,” the Sixers head coach Greg Shipperd said. “Steve was instrumental in our recruitment of Josh Philippe and Josh, along with other youngsters in our squad like Jack Edwards, Lloyd Pope, Tom Curran, and Justin Avendano, will be the better for sharing a dressing room with an Australian great.”
To make room for Smith in their squad, the Sixers have released New South Wales captain and former Australia wicketkeeper Peter Nevill.
“In making this calculated move we will be saying goodbye to another foundation member in Peter Nevill who has given great service to the club over many seasons,” Shipperd said. “Peter enjoys the sincere respect of all within the Sixers family for the effort, energy, performance and professionalism he has displayed.