MI Cape Town’s Odean Smith follows in the long line of blockbuster West Indian T20 all-rounders, and the Jamaican has had a similar dynamic impact on the first round of the Betway SA20.
Smith hails from Kingston, the same town as T20 legend Andre “Dr Dre” Russell, and plays the game with a similar exuberance and style.
The 26-year-old has run hard for MI Cape Town, picked up seven wickets already in just five games, and is an integral part of the Newlands-based team.
He believes the work done behind the scenes with MI Cape Town’s New Zealand bowling coach Jacob Oram has set him up nicely for success in South Africa.
“Everyone has been so welcoming. The coaches have been great. The environment has been spectacular,” Smith said.
“I’ve talked a lot to him (Oram) about the bowling aspects of my game. That’s probably why I’ve done so well in these conditions.”
Smith, who once struck five successive sixes in the Caribbean Premier League, has not yet fired with the willow, but a move up the coast to Kingsmead where MI Cape Town resume their campaign against Durban’s Super Giants on Thursday could just be the kickstart he needs.
“It sounds exciting. It’s a challenge I am up for,” Smith said. “ I came here to win. It has been taking some time to come off. Hopefully, I can get a few training sessions in to see what’s gone wrong, and for the next few games, you guys can probably see some big ones.”
With the experience of playing in the Caribbean Premier League, Indian Premier League and Pakistan Super League, Smith is well-versed in judging the playing standard of the inaugural Betway SA20.
He has been suitably impressed with what has been delivered by all six teams and the number of supporters that have come through the turnstiles.
“It has been of a high standard. There have been some good teams. They’ve been giving us a fight. The standard of the competition has been amazing. I’ve been enjoying it, especially the different conditions.
“It has been amazing (the crowds). They have supported us and made a lot of noise.” He will play for Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League 2023.