Steve Smith will not be allowed to show off for the Sydney Sixers in the BBL final and several Aussie stars have dismissed the decision.
Several Australian cricketers have rejected the decision to block Steve Smith from passing for the Sydney Sixers in the BBL final.
On Friday, Cricket Australia announced that Smith would not be allowed to play for the Sixers in their Big Bash qualifier final against the Perth Scorchers on Saturday or participate in any of the series finals.
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Despite the Sixers having a reserve spot on their roster, a rule introduced on January 10 has prevented the club’s favorite son from returning to the club – replacements can now only be chosen from a pool of local players in the BBL hub in Melbourne.
The decision was made by the BBL’s technical committee and cricket CEOs across the country were consulted.
After completing his testing duties in the biosafe Ashes bubble, Smith had flown to Melbourne with the Sixers and expected to play but was denied the opportunity due to a technical issue.
Smith was not under contract with the Sixers this season, unlike Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja, who have played for the Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder respectively since Ashes’ victory.
However, the decision not to allow Smith to play for the Sixers was roundly rejected by current and former players, who believe CA missed a trick by not letting one of Australia’s best players shine in the BBL. .
Many argue that CA cannot argue that the decision was made to preserve the integrity of the Big Bash as the Melbourne Stars were forced to use local replacement players when they were ravaged by Covid mid-season.
Sixers captain Moises Henriques was furious at the call, which he called “absolutely baffling”.
“To say (I’m) a little dissatisfied would be an understatement,” he said.
“You have IPL teams paying millions of dollars to have this guy as part of their franchise and we’re saying no because of a rule that’s two weeks old and some Covid bubble hub. For me I just don’t get it.
“We’re in the top two without him so I’m absolutely confident in our domestic talent and local talent to do the job. I think it’s sad for cricket, that’s all.”
Joe Burns, former Test opener and Melbourne Stars batter, said the decision was futile, tweeting: “Am I the only one who thinks it’s crazy that we blindly went on with substitutions just for content fulfillment, thus protecting the integrity of the lost competition, but still we won’ Steve Smith shouldn’t play on TVs for the team he always represented and led #ReplacementsOverSmudge.”
Sixers all-rounder Dan Christian agreed, saying that CA and the Big Bash were shooting themselves in the foot by not letting him play.
“@bbl can’t attract the best OS players in the game to the whole comp because of ‘schedule conflict’ (i.e. we pay less and it takes too long),” he said.
“But when one of our local Aussie stars unexpectedly becomes available and wants to play, CA says he can’t. Ch7 & Fox must be excited. ”
NSW paceman Trent Copeland added: “Honestly. A unique window where our BEST players are available for #BBL11 Finals. The largest domestic product we have.
“It’s not Steve Smith’s thing. Call it player X. This is a sense of what is important in general, fans, viewers, KIDS watching etc. Really unfortunate.”
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