Ahead of the 2023 Ashes, Australian batter Steve Smith has penned a short-term deal with the County side Sussex for the upcoming Championship season. Interestingly, Sussex will also have the Indian batter, Cheteshwar Pujara available for the red-ball season.
Earlier, the county side also announced that Pakistan’s vice-captain and one of the best players from last year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, Shadab Khan would represent them in the T20 Blast. Smith, however, will only be part of the setup for three clashes – Worcestershire, Leicestershire and Glamorgan – where there are chances that he will go against his apprentice, Marnus Labuschagne.
"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,"
"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," Sussex Cricket CEO, Rob Andrew said.
"Our Championship form has not been good enough for a number of years, and under the new direction of Head Coach Paul Farbrace, we are looking to be positive and ambitious. Being able to attract a player of Steve Smith's calibre is a massive statement and will be of great benefit to our young homegrown players, particularly our crop of talented young batters,” he added.
Interestingly, Smith has one of the best records in England, with an average of 59.55 and six centuries against his name. The right-hander’s last fixture in the County season will begin on May 18, with the first of the Ashes clashes set to begin on June 16 in Birmingham.