Steve Smith was all set to play for Sydney Sixers in the final stages of the BBL 2021-22 after Australia’s tour to New Zealand got canceled due to COVID-19. However, the new rule that was released by CA turned out to be an obstacle and the former Aussie skipper will not be able to feature in the BBL this season.
Cricket Australia released a rule a couple of weeks ago that franchises will be allowed to recruit only local players for the teams hit by COVID-19. This rule allowed the teams to pick replacements whenever any player contracts COVID-19 but only the local ones.
Unlucky Steve Smith
NIn Steve Smith’s case, he is not a local player due to which he will not be able to play in the pink for Sixers. On the other hand, Nathan Lyon, and Travis Head will be soon joining their respective sides for the upcoming games in the Big Bash League.
Steve Smith got his application rejected as other teams denied and given the reason that it was against the rule made by Cricket Australia.
“In creating the central LRP pool, it was agreed that clubs would not be able to contract LRPs from outside the pool for the remainder of the season,” CA said in a statement on Friday.
“This request was denied … noting that other players returning to the BBL from international duty have been retained on club lists throughout the competition,” it added.
Sixers captain Moises Henriques lambasted on the rule made by CA. He feels that how a rule that was made a couple of weeks can deny entry of a world-class batsman in the league. As per him, franchises spend million dollars in order to get his services and people buy tickets to watch him play. He added that there are lots of things that Steve Smith brings along with him as a player.
“You have got a former Australian captain, one of the best players in the world,” Henriques said. “You have got IPL teams who pay multi-million dollars just to have this guy as part of their franchise. Advertising, bums on seats, eyes on TVs. I mean, you do the maths.”
“And we’re saying no because of a rule that is two weeks old in some COVID bubble hub. To me, I don’t get it. We’re in the top two without him, so I have got absolute belief in our domestic talent and local talent to do the job. I think it’s sad for cricket, that’s all,” he added.