While he would prefer representing Australia at the T20 World Cup, batting superstar Steve Smith will have no hesitation in playing IPL either should the showpiece ICC event be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speculations are rife that the T20 World Cup to be hosted by Australia in October-November this year, will be cancelled and rescheduled. Should that happen, it will open up a window for IPL which, as of now, has been indefinitely postponed.
“I think when you’re playing for your country at a World Cup, that’s the pinnacle for one-day or T20 cricket, so of course I’d prefer to play in that,” Smith said after returning to training on Monday. “But if that doesn’t happen and the IPL’s there, and they postpone it, then so be it. IPL’s also a terrific tournament as a domestic tournament.”
“So that’s out of everyone’s control at the moment, players are just doing what we’re told and going where we need to go and playing whatever’s on at that stage,” he added.
The ICC will arrive at a decision on June 10 and it has been widely reported that Cricket Australia wants the T20 WC to be postponed to next year.
“I guess there’ll be some more news about it soon, probably some decisions to be made soon, so I’m sure we’ll all find out and know where we’re going to be. I personally haven’t really thought about it, I think it’d just be going off the advice of the professionals and the governments and essentially doing what we’re told,” the former Australia captain said.
Smith, who captains Rajasthan Royals in IPL, said cricket has taken a backseat in light of the ongoing health crisis.
“If that happens then great, if not then there’s just so much going on in the world right now that cricket kind of seems a little bit irrelevant. So we’ll get back when we’re told to and until then it is sit tight, get fit and strong and freshen up mentally,” said Smith.
Smith also feels that it will be a bit unfair if saliva is banned from applying and the ICC will have to figure out to restore the balance between bat and ball.
“I’ve always been one to want a fair contest between bat and ball, so if that’s taken away, even as a batter I don’t think that’s great. Whether they can find other ways with certain things, it’ll be hard,” he said.
“I actually spit on my hands most balls and that’s how I get grip and stuff. So that might take some adjusting to certain things like that, but that’s something for the ICC to figure out what they want to do going forward and different regulations,” he added.
He also wants the ongoing ICC World Test Championship to continue.
“It’d be ideal if we can keep that going. It’s the first one we’ve had and we’re all working towards hopefully playing at Lord’s in mid-June (2021), we were all working towards that…
“…so it’d be good if we could carry on with that, but I don’t know, everything is sort of up in the air at the moment with everything going on around the world. So we’ll wait and see where everything lands,” he added.
Steve Smith’s hand-eye coordination
At home with his family during the isolation period, Smith is working on improving his hand-eye coordination through isolation batting.
“Nice little exercise that we can do at home to improve our skills, particularly the hand-eye coordination,” said Smith in the 50-second long video on Instagram on Wednesday.
He then takes a tennis ball and hits it against a wall numerous times while focusing on the bat face and his feet movement.