In a beautiful gesture, former Australia skipper, Steven Smith has decided to donate his playing fee from the upcoming Global T20 Canada League to grassroots cricket programs. The disgraced batsman is making a return to competitive cricket through this tournament.
Smith had not played since the ball tampering scandal in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March. 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 received one-year ban each, Bancroft received a nine-month suspension.
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 the forbidden trio would be allowed to play grade cricket.
As a result, Smith is eligible for the upcoming league in Canada. The right-hander got 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.
The league will start on June 28 and Smith had already begun preparing for it. He had also commenced the 100 hours of community service required as part of his punishment from CA. Smith is working with an Australia-based male mental health charity.
The Global T20 League will consist of six teams. Five of them will represent Canadian cities – Edmonton Royals, Montreal Tigers, Toronto Nationals, Vancouver Knights and Winnipeg Hawks.
On the other hand, the sixth one will be representing Cricket West Indies. The team will consist players entirely from the Caribbean, as part of an official partnership with CWI.
Meanwhile, Warner and Bancroft are also on their way to return to competitive cricket soon. The duo will return to competitive cricket during the Darwin Strike League in July.