Star Australian batter Steve Smith will make a return to Sydney Sixers for the Big Bash League (BBL) season 13, announced the club on Monday. Smith is also likely to be available for the Sydney Smash against Sydney Thunder at the same ground on January 12 in a heavyweight clash with Australian teammate David Warner. One of the sport’s all-time greatest, Smith will don the magenta for a second consecutive year, following his explosive stint for the club last summer.
“Australian and Sydney Sixers champion, Steve Smith, is set to return to the club again this summer for BBL|13,” said the team in a statement.
Sixers members and fans will have the opportunity to see the superstar in action on Friday, December 8 when the Sixers kick off their BBL|13 campaign, hosting the Melbourne Renegades at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Notching 346 runs at an incredible 86.50 – striking at a whopping 174.74 – Smith quickly became one of the league’s top run-scorers, despite making just five appearances last season. The 34-year-old produced two of the most entertaining performances in Big Bash history, notching back-to-back hundreds, becoming the fourth Sixer – and first male – to ever smash triple figures.
The mouth-watering clash with the Melbourne side will see Smith and his Australian teammate – former Sixer turned Renegade – Nathan Lyon face off for the first time, in what is set to be one of the most-watched battles of the summer. The Renegades will also feature their recruit, fellow World Cup winner, Adam Zampa.
A member of the club since its inception, Smith has been part of the fabric of the Sixers since day one.
Captaining the club to their first Big Bash title, the now two-time BBL champion and member of the 2012 Champions League title-winning side is determined to bring more success home to the Sixers.
In 29 BBL matches, Smith has scored 965 runs at an average of 41.95 and a strike rate of over 142, with two centuries and six fifties. His best score is 125*.
Speaking from India where he is part of the Australian T20 team, Smith said he was delighted to be back playing for a club that has meant so much to him for well over a decade.
“It is great to be back in the Sixers shirt,” Smith said.
“I have got some really fond memories playing for the Sixers. Obviously, I am an original, part of the first squad and really enjoyed my time last year for the five or six games and the finals that I played so I am keen to get out there again,” he added.
Smith also had a message for Sixers members and supporters.
“Sixers fans, just get around the team. We have a wonderful team, wonderful culture and we are looking forward to another great season in the Big Bash,” he said.
Speaking about the opportunity to play alongside his long-time mate again this season, Sydney Sixers skipper Moises Henriques said: “Steve is a Sixer through and through. Any opportunity for him to be a part of this group, we will always jump at that chance. It goes without saying that he is one of the best players the game has ever seen. He is obviously someone you want playing in your side, but he is also a guy we love having around.”
“He is one of the most entertaining players in the world to watch, so for our fans to get that opportunity this season is a no-brainer for us,” he added.
Head of Sydney Sixers, Rachael Haynes said the signing was a huge win for Sixers fans.
“Steve is one of the best players in the world. He comes to us fresh off the back of an incredible winter for the Australian men’s team – retaining the Ashes in England, claiming the World Test Championship and winning a World Cup,” said Haynes.
“The impact that Steve was able to make in such a short time last season is testament to the kind of player he is. We have no doubt Sixers fans can expect the same level of entertainment when he takes to the field again this summer.”
“For our members and fans to have the opportunity to see one of the game’s biggest stars at the SCG this summer is a thrill, and we hope to see a packed house at the SCG on December 8,” Haynes concluded.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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