Big Bash League: Steve Smith to Not Play in BBL Finals After CA Rejects Sydney Sixers’ Application
Cricket Australia reportedly rejected Sydney Sixers’ application for Steve Smith to play in the Big Bash League (BBL) finals on Thursday.
After Australia’s One-Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand was postponed, Smith and Sixers had a discussion, where it was decided that Smith could return to the franchise ahead of their Qualifier fixture against Perth Scorchers. Get the latest BBL match schedule here.
The match is scheduled to take place on Saturday (Jan. 22) at Docklands Stadium, Melbourne.
Smith even flew down to Melbourne to join his BBL teammates thinking the paperwork would be a cakewalk, according to Fox Sports.
The report also claimed that Sixers had left a spot free on its squad in case an international player became available. While the franchise completed the whole paperwork, it was left shocked that its request was bluntly turned down by the country’s cricket board. Get our latest cricket betting tips here.
It is understood that Cricket Australia were ready to accept whatever verdict the state CEOs returned with to decide on whether the former Aussie skipper should be allowed to participate in BBL’s knockout phase.
CA advised to not change rules for Smith
The subsequent events only indicated that the state CEOs advised Cricket Australia against changing its rules just to allow Smith to play.
As per current rules, a replacement player can only come from the local player replacement pool, which was created earlier this month to aid the clubs in dealing with the ongoing covid situation.
Had Sixers included Smith’s name in their local replacement pool, any other club could have picked him up and he would have then been forced to play for them. However, back then Sixers did not know the ODI series between New Zealand and Australia would be postponed.
Sydney Sixers eye history
Smith, who is one of Sixers’ most renowned players, captained the side to BBL title in the inaugural edition in 2011-12.
Sixers’ current captain Moises Henriques is due to react to this news and will speak to the media on Friday.
If his team wins on Saturday night, it will host the final on Jan. 28 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) as it eyes to become the first-ever BBL side to win three consecutive titles. Do check who will win today cricket match prediction from betting experts.