Canada Twenty20 League’s franchise Toronto Nationals coach Phil Simmons and its captain Darren Sammy insisted Steven Smith is looking sharp ahead of his return to the competitive cricket.

The former Australia skipper Smith along with his deputy David Warner and Cameron Bancroft has not played cricket since the ball-tampering scandal in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March, this year.

In the aftermath of the snowballed controversy, Cricket Australia (CA) had slapped lengthy bans on the trio. While Smith and Warner received one-year ban each, Bancroft was docked with a nine-month suspension.

Smith also had to give up his captaincy in addition being banned from playing for State-side New South Wales and in Big Bash League (BBL).

However, CA had made it clear the forbidden trio would be allowed to play grade cricket. As a result, Smith, and Warner were picked in players draft for the upcoming Global T20 Canada league, in Toronto.

“Steve had had a couple sessions in the nets today. And he seems to be alright for what he has gone through over the past few months. He seems to be alright,” Simmons told AAP.

It is a six-team, three-week tournament also featuring Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, and Shahid Afridi.

Both Smith and Warner took part in training sessions at the same indoor cricket facility on Wednesday (June 27).

Toronto chief coach Phil Simmons said Smith looked sharp ahead of his first match against Gayle’s Vancouver Knights.

“It’s great to have Steve among us. I know he is going to do all he can to help us to the top of the table in this league,” he remarked.

Toronto will take on Vancouver in the tournament-opener on Thursday (June 28).

“I think it’s important for Steve just to play cricket. And enjoy it again because (the ball-tampering scandal) was very hard on him for him,” he added.

Skipper Darren Sammy also sounded delighted on having Steven Smith in the team. He is hopeful the other players would learn from Smith in the coming days.

“So far he has been brilliant for the guys, especially the batsmen,” said Sammy.

“They might not be able to copy what he does in terms of experience and batting situations and the process in which he prepares for a match, but it’s good to see how he goes about his business and good to learn from for the youngsters,” he asserted.

“I’ve spoke to him as to the role I would love for him to play on the team. As to what’s going on in his mind I think only Jesus could tell you what is going on in his mind. But he looks ready,” he added.

Steven Smith Looks Ready, Says Toronto Nationals Captain Darren Sammy

Warner and Smith along with Bancroft are serving lengthy bans (Credits: Getty) 

Meanwhile, Warner will be in action on Friday (June 29) when his Winnipeg Hawks take on the Montreal Tigers.

The southpaw also looked relaxed, joking with teammates and officials before and after his training session.