Steve Smith wants to play with Sussex Pre-Ashes Country Championship

Steve Smith is on the verge of securing a spot to play top-flight cricket in England in preparation for the upcoming Ashes series.

Steve Smith will compete in the County Championship early in the season in preparation for the Ashes series in the summer and is in negotiations with a number of counties including Sussex.

While many of Australia’s Test squads will take part in the Indian Premier League in April and May, Smith is not contracted with any of the franchises and would like to play top-flight cricket in England ahead of the Ashes in June and July.

Smith has never played in the County Championship, although he had a brief stint with Worcestershire in the T20 Blast in 2010. Smith’s management team have confirmed he is in advanced negotiations with Sussex but no deal has been signed yet. The 33-year-old is in talks with a number of other counties and is expected to be available for about four games ahead of the Test World Cup final at the Oval in early June. Australia will most likely qualify for the WTC Finals – provided they don’t lose 4-0 on their upcoming tour of India.

Australia will use the final as their only warm-up game before attempting to defend the Ashes and will cancel their scheduled game against an England Lions team. The Australia squad will then hold a training camp – likely at Kent’s grounds in Beckenham – and play games within the squad ahead of the Ashes’ start at Edgbaston on June 16.

Smith has played 16 friendly matches on English soil – including two against Pakistan in 2010 – and has a very good record here, averaging 59.55 despite the unfamiliar conditions with the extra stitch and momentum of the Dukes ball.

Marnus Labuschagne will also start his Ashes preparations on British soil after re-signing for Glamorgan and is likely to be available in the early weeks of the season.

-The times Steve Smith wants to play with Sussex Pre-Ashes Country Championship

Ryan Sederquist

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