Smith suddenly pulls out of BBL
Barbados Cricket Association article.
Bridgetown, Barbados - Dwayne Smith, the experienced Barbados all-rounder who has represented West Indies in all versions of the game, will not be playing for Perth Scorchers in the imminent Big Bash League (BBL) after all because of undisclosed reasons.
And as speculation heightened in local cricketing circles over the sudden move after he played in the fourth and final Barbados Super50 trial match at Desmond Haynes Oval today when he had been due in Australia earlier in the week, Smith offered a terse "no comment" on the issue.
Just a couple weeks ago, the 30-year-old Smith was quoted as saying he was "really happy to have signed with the Perth Scorchers", becoming the second international player to sign for the side following the announcement that South African bowler Alfonso Thomas would be rejoining them.
Smith was scheduled to leave here last Friday for London en route to Australia but dramatically asked airline officials to disembark the aircraft when it was on the runway at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), well-placed sources told BCAcricket.org.
According to the sources, Smith again went to GAIA earlier this week to leave for Australia but changed his mind yet again.
The sources, who requested anonymity, said Smith had informed Perth Scorchers officials through his agent that he would no longer be playing in the Big Bash League this season.
The Big Bash League starts on Friday, December 20 and runs until Saturday, February 15. Perth Scorchers' first match is against Brisbane Heat on Sunday, December 22.
It was also revealed by the sources that Smith has been included in the West Indies squad for the two-match Twenty20 International series against New Zealand in New Zealand on January 11 and 15.
Smith was not named in the teams to play in today's trial match which is part of Barbados' preparations for the regional Super50 championship in Trinidad & Tobago from January 30 to February 16, but he contacted the national selectors on Wednesday, expressing an interest in playing and duly made his presence felt with the bat.
In his usual attacking style, he blasted 49 off only 29 balls with five sixes and two fours in an opening partnership of 53 in just 4.4 overs with former West Indies Test opener Omar Phillips, who also scored 49 but in sharp contrast off 80 deliveries, as Sulieman Benn's XI defeated Carlos Brathwaite's XI by two wickets with 3.4 overs remaining.
Smith was recently quoted on Cricinfo as saying that he was eagerly looking forward to playing in the Big Bash League.
"I'm really happy to have signed with the Perth Scorchers - they look to have a great squad of players with a good mixture of youth and experience. The BBL is a tournament all players want to be involved, in so I'm really looking forward to joining the lads in Perth and making an impact," Smith said.
"Hopefully I can get the side off to a good start at the top of the order and continue on my good form from the recent Champions League in India. Perth is a beautiful city, so hopefully I can experience a bit of what it has to offer in between the cricket."
That Cricinfo report on December 7 noted that Smith has struggled to cement his spot in the West Indies team, despite being a crucial part of the Mumbai Indians side that won the 2013 IPL and Champions League Twenty20, for which he was the Player of the Tournament after making 223 runs at an average of 55.75 and a strike rate of 142.94.
"I want to be part of the West Indies team that defends the T20 crown next year (in Bangladesh)," he said. "I'm looking at the 2015 World Cup, so I want to make a big impression here."
In the just concluded Barbados Cricket Association Sagicor General Super Cup (50-over) championship, Smith amassed the most runs (392) including one century and three fifties, at an average of 49.00 for YMPC who reached the semi-finals.
He sustained his form in the first national trial match on December 10, slamming 72 off 39 balls with seven fours and five sixes as Carlos Brathwaite's XI defeated Ashley Nurse's XI by four wickets with three overs to spare, chasing 277 off 46 overs at Desmond Haynes Oval.
Scorchers coach Justin Langer had described Smith as a welcome addition to the side, citing his stunning form in the Twenty20 matches over the last 12 months, as well as the fact that he would be available for the entire BBL season.
"Dwayne is a fantastic batsman, he's a brilliant fieldsman and he can bowl some overs, so he's a great addition to the Scorchers," Langer said. "He was very keen to get back to BBL so it was a pretty easy negotiation. Dwayne was high on the list, because of the challenges you have with securing overseas players."
Smith has represented Sussex, Deccan Chargers, Mumbai Indians and Barbados at T20 level. In addition, he also played for New South Wales in the BBL in 2009-10.
Shaun Marsh, who also announced his contract extension with the Scorchers, was equally as pleased with his team's new signing.
"I have had the pleasure of watching him play in the IPL and for West Indies over the last few years and he certainly brings a lot of excitement to the game with bat, ball and in the field," Marsh said. "He's a really aggressive player and I think we will work really well together at the top."