Steve Smith To Pad Up For Overseas T20 Squad After League Lifts His Ban

Former Australian cricket captain, Steve Smith will be heading to Bangladesh next month to take part in the country’s T20 premier league after officials formally lifted his ban yesterday.

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While Smith is still serving a one-year ban on international and domestic cricket for his role in the ball-tampering scandal, he’ll be free to play for the Comilla Victorians in the Bangladesh Premier League which kicks off on January 5. He’ll be replacing Pakistani cricketer, Shoaib Malik.

“We could not give him permission earlier as other franchises had protested his signing,” Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman, Jalal Yunus, said. “Today four franchises emailed us separately saying that they have withdrawn their objections for the greater interest of the tournament.”

Former vice-captain, David Warner, will also take part in the BPL for the Sylhet Sixers.

Warner, Smith, and Cameron Bancroft were handed bans for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal in March, in which Bancroft was caught using sandpaper to rough up the ball. He’s expected to make his return to the Big Bash League this weekend after serving a nine-month ban, while Warner and Smith are still banned from T20 and the Sheffield Shield domestically.

Given Smith is still allowed to compete in other countries’ domestic leagues, he’s done just that for Canada’s Global T20 and the Caribbean Premier League, making the BPL his third jaunt for T20 outside of Australia since his ban was handed down. He also just signed for the Pakistan Super League which begins in February, so he obviously has no plans to slow down.

Smith and Bancroft have both given interviews regarding the scandal, the latter of which seems to throw Warner under the bus as the main instigator of the plot, though Warner is yet to comment.

While Smith’s Canadian stint was seen as a positive step forward for his return to the sport, it’ll certainly be interesting to see how he’s received once the ban is lifted.