Former Australian captain Steve Smith has commented on his vision for the remainder of his career. The right-handed batter, who turns 33 in July 2023, will have a huge call to make in terms of his future in T20I cricket and his role in the side as he arguably heads into the twilight of his career.
Smith had a rough year with T20I cricket being at the fore, an area where he has not shone, especially ever since the game has taken a fearless, aggressive turn.
He was on the sidelines for the majority of the T20 World Cup 2022 campaign in Australia, having only mustered one appearance as the defending champions failed to make it to the knockout stages.
While Smith himself acknowledges his shortcomings in T20Is, with Mitchell Marsh having taken over as No. 3, the ace batter remains in pole position when it comes to the longest format of the game. While his best days might be behind him, he still has a lot to look forward to.
Noting that he currently does not have a plan set in place for his retirement from the sport, Smith told The Daily Telegraph:
"I don't have a plan, but I'm 33 now. I’ve been playing international cricket for 13 years. It’s a long time. I’m still enjoying it, but I’m certainly closer to the end than the start, that’s for sure. I really don’t know. I’d like to play for as long as I can while I’m still enjoying it and while I like working hard to get better.”
The right-handed batter is only a handful of matches away from playing his 100th Test. He currently has 81 appearances to his name and with a home series against South Africa and West Indies, a tour of India, and the Ashes on the horizon, he is expected to reach the landmark sooner rather than later.
With Australia being in contention for the World Test Championship (WTC) as well as a potential Ashes win on England soil for the first time since 2001, Smith could add several feathers to his cap on his final lap.
Holding an average of over 60, Smith recently crossed the 8000-runs in Test cricket and became the fastest batter to do so. The former captain is well in contention to be the fastest player to hit the five-figure mark in terms of runs in Tests.
"We’ll see what the future holds" - Steve Smith
The plethora of ICC events on the horizon, which also includes the 2023 ODI World Cup in India among other events as per the Future Tours Programme (FTP), will definitely play a role in Smith's longevity.
Claiming that he intends to play the sport until he enjoys the experience on the field, Smith said:
“I really don’t know. I’d like to play for as long as I can while I’m still enjoying it and while I like working hard to get better. When that stops, you know it’s the right time to finish up. We’ll see what the future holds."
"The major tournaments and series are the ones you want to be involved in and have an impact in as well, so there’s a few ones coming up over the next 12 to 18 months.We’ll see how we go.”
Australia's next assignment in the longest format comes in the form of a two-match Test series against the West Indies at home. The series is scheduled to begin on November 30 at the Optus Stadium in Perth.
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