Disgraced former Australia skipper Steve Smith has moved one step closer to returning to the cricket field. The batting star has not played since the ball tampering scandal in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

In the aftermath of the scandal, Cricket Australia (CA) had slapped lengthy bans on Smith along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. While Smith and Warner were banned for a year each, Bancroft was given an nine-month ban.  Smith also had to give up his captaincy in addition to being banned from playing for State and in Big Bash League. However, CA had made it clear that the banned trio would be allowed to play grade cricket.

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Well, Smith is now all set to make his much-anticipated return to the field. The right-hander has been named as one of the marquee players in the proposed Global T20 Canada league. The other marquee players are Shahid Afridi, David Miller, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Darren Sammy and Lasith Malinga.

Cricket Canada is set to start a T20 league with six teams that’ll play 22 matches in a tournament that will run for a month. The tournament is scheduled to take place from June 25 to July 28.

Meanwhile,  Bancroft will feature in Western Australia’s Premier Cricket league. On the other hand, Warner will play for Randwick Petersham, his club in Sydney.

The ball tampering scandal had caused quite a stir in Australian cricket. With Smith banned, CA appointed Tim Paine as the Test skipper. Earlier this month, CA appointed Paine and Finch as captains in the limited-overs formats.

Paine will lead the ODI side during next month’s tour of the UK. On the other hand, Finch will lead the T20 side in the one-off match against England and a subsequent tour of Zimbabwe, which consists of a tri-series also involving Pakistan.

Australia also have a new coach at helm. Following the scandal, Darren Lehmann had resigned before CA named Justin Langer as the new coach.