Australia’s star batter Steve Smith has been blocked from taking part for Sydney Sixers in the knock-out stages of the Big Bash League 2021. His application was rejected after other states voted against allowing the former Aussie skipper to play, according to cricket.com.au.
He was not in line to play in the tournament due to his commitment to the national team, but the cancellation of the limited-overs series against New Zealand could have allowed the 32-year old to play in the league.
However, the CA barred Smith from appearing for Sixers due to a rule regarding replacement players for squads hit by Covid-related withdrawals.
“CA introduced a local replacement player pool (LRP) from which all franchises must pick any fill-in – had Smith been placed in that pool, he would have been available to any BBL franchise,” a release by cricket.com.au read.
Sixers captain Moises Henriques was not happy with the outcome.
“You have got a former Australian captain, one of the best players in the world. You have IPL teams who pay multi-million dollars to have this guy as part of their franchise. Advertising, bums on seats, eyes on TVs – I mean, you do the maths,” Henriques said, as quoted by the website.
“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.”