Steve Smith was preparing for Ashes’ first stint in the county as the Sydney Sixers welcomed him back

The Test vice-captain would then re-link with Australia ahead of a likely Test championship final in early June.

From 16 Tests on English soil – two were against Pakistan in 2010 – Smith has an average of 59.55 with the racquet. In the final overseas Ashes series in 2019, Smith looted 774 runs at 110.57 as Australia retained the ballot box.

Steve Smith’s test batting record by country

  • In Australia: 4387 runs at 64.51
  • In England: 1727 runs at 59.55
  • In India: 660 runs at 60
  • In South Africa: 411 runs on 41.1
  • In Sri Lanka: 398 departs at 49.75
  • In West Indies: 283 runs at 141.50
  • In New Zealand: 262 runs at 131
  • In Pakistan: 226 runs at 56.5
  • In the United Arab Emirates: 174 runs at 43.5
  • In Bangladesh: 119 departs at 29.75

The UK Telegraph reported last month that the county sites had entered into informal talks with Smith over a short-term deal.

Smith played for Worcestershire in the T20 Blast in 2010 and has also represented Surrey’s Second XI.

England skipper Ben Stokes was recently asked about the prospect of Smith County cricket playing.

“I think it’s one of those ones where you’d probably prefer they didn’t get game time out here in front of the Ashes,” Stokes told reporters. “At the same time, it is what it is.”

Steve Smith returns to the Sydney Sixers after a three-year hiatus.

Steve Smith returns to the Sydney Sixers after a three-year hiatus.Credit:AAP

Smith isn’t the only Australian set to play red ball matches in Britain ahead of the Ashes. Team-mate Marnus Labuschagne returns to Glamorgan along with pace bowler Michael Neser, while opening batsman Marcus Harris is in Gloucestershire.

For now, Smith is back with the Sixers after a three-year hiatus. As a member of the 2011-12 Sixers first team, Smith will be available for Sunday’s game against the Perth Scorchers, plus three others. It is not yet known if Smith can play in the BBL Finals.

Although other states wanted to play last year, they blocked the Sixers’ request to let Smith return to finals games.

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“Last year didn’t go the way I was hoping for,” Smith said ahead of Sunday’s game at the SCG. “I really love playing with these guys. I didn’t have my best start. The nets were a bit sharp.”

Smith was in the nets on Thursday with off-spinner Todd Murphy, who is still at a peak after being included in Australia’s 18-man Test squad for the forthcoming India series in February and March.

“I just congratulated him on his selection,” Smith said. “All the guys have said that he is the standout nutcase in the national competition. He has a good skill set. I think Nathan Lyon is very keen to work with him as much as possible.”

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/smith-primed-for-first-county-stint-ahead-of-ashes-as-sixers-welcome-him-back-20230112-p5cc0p.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Steve Smith was preparing for Ashes’ first stint in the county as the Sydney Sixers welcomed him back

Ryan Sederquist

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