The vice-captain of the Australian Test team Steve Smith has signed a short-term deal with Sussex for England’s prestigious domestic first-class competition County Championship ahead of this year’s Ashes and the World Test Championship final, both scheduled to take place in England.

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The development was doing the rounds since the last week or so and came to fruition after Sussex County Cricket Club on Thursday (January 19) confirmed the signing of one of the best batters of the current generation. Smith will be playing three county games in this year’s County Championship, according to the Sussex press release. Before joining the Australian setup, Smith will play at Worcestershire on May 4, Leicestershire the following week and at Hove against Glamorgan, a week after that.

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Sussex Cricket CEO Rob Andrew was happy after securing the services of the number 2 Test batter in the world. Andrew said that the club was thrilled to have Smith in the squad for the County Championship 2023.

“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,” said Rob Andrew.

Speaking to Sussex’s official website, Smith said he was excited about joining the county team in the Summer and is hopeful of making a contribution to his team’s success this year. He also said that he’ll be sharing some insights with the younger players in the Sussex squad.

Smith Upbeat for County Stint

Steve Smith Signs Deal With Sussex for Ashes Warm-up
Steve Smith Signs Deal With Sussex for Ashes Warm-up

“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,” said Steve Smith.

The 33-year-old decided against the idea of taking part in the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League and thus, has a window of over two months to prepare for The Ashes in England. He showcased some stellar batting performances in the last Test series he played in England and would expect to repeat the same in the coming summer. Last time when Smith was in England for the Ashes series, he scored 774 runs at an average of 110.57 in the 2019 Ashes series in England, which finished in a 2-2 draw.

In first-class cricket, Smith averages 50.95 for New South Wales in Australia’s Sheffield Shield and 60.89 in 162 innings in 92 Tests for Australia. Smith, who averages 59.55 across 16 Tests in England, will help him acclimatize to English conditions. He will be warming up for the five-match Test series against England, which starts on June 16 at Edgbaston. 

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