Suspended and disgraced Australian Cricket team captain Steve Smith will start his return to competitive cricket on a benevolent note. Named among the ten marquee players for the inaugural edition of the Global T20 Canada league, Smith will donate his professional fee from the tournament to the grassroots cricket programmes.
Cricket Canada has announced the global professional league for T20 cricket on Thursday, May 24. Smith, who was suspended for 12 months for his role in the ball-tampering incident during the Cape Town in March, was approached by the organisers to play in the tournament.
Cricket Australia is reportedly supportive of the opportunity for Smith to take part in the tournament. Smith has been named among the 10 marquee players, along with Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi, Darren Sammy, Lasith Malinga, Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, David Miller and Dwayne Bravo.
According to cricket.com.au, the former Australia captain will donate his income from T20 Global Canada to grassroots cricket development in Australia and Canada.
Smith, under the terms of the agreement with the league organisers, will also be involved in several community cricket initiatives in Canada – including training camps – to help promote the sport in the country.
With the league kicking-off on June 28, Smith has resumed his training regimen in Sydney to be match ready. He is reportedly spending hours into training with the help of his father at Sydney Cricket Ground nets. Smith has also enlisted the expertise of a fitness trainer, with pilates also added to his regular workout.
Smith along with vice-captain David Warner and rookie Cameron Bancroft was banned by CA for 12 months for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal during the Kangaroos South Africa tour. Smith was also stripped of the Australian captaincy for two years. Bancroft, caught on camera tampering with the ball, was banned for nine months. Warner, who was accused to be the mastermind of the scandal, has lost the chance of holding captaincy positions for his national side ever again.
Smith has also commenced the 100 hours of community service required as part of his sanction from CA. He is currently working with an Australia-based male mental health charity.