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Star batsman Steve Smith rules himself out of the Big Bash League

Absence of major players like Steve Smith might affect the popularity of BBL this year [cricket.com.au]
Absence of major players like Steve Smith might affect the popularity of BBL this year [cricket.com.au]
Bala
ANALYST
Modified 31 Oct 2020, 21:58 IST
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In a major blow to the Big Bash League, star batsman Steve Smith has ruled himself out of its upcoming season. He declared on Friday that there is “absolutely no chance” of him appearing in BBL 2020.

Steve Smith clearly has concerns about living continuously in bio-secure bubbles and not spending time with his family. Playing in the BBL will mean he will have to enter another bubble, after already having spent months away from his near and dear ones.

“I'll be honest with you - absolutely no chance,” Steve Smith told News Corp when asked about his prospects for the BBL 2020.

Steve Smith, and some of his other teammates, have been living in a bio-secure bubble since August. It started with Australia’s tour of England from which Smith has flown directly to the UAE for the IPL. He will once again be forced to be in a bio-bubble for the upcoming series against India which starts in late November and continues into January.

Also read: AB de Villiers pulls out of BBL

The 31-year-old feels that there are still a lot of uncertainties surrounding life in a closed environment. He believes that the players could be facing a lot of issues and there should be more conversations about it.

"It's still early days with the bubbles. We don't know how long it's going to last for. There's an uncertainty there. It's just going to be about having open conversations with coaches, general managers, whoever, to ensure that people are keeping their headspace in a reasonable place," Steve Smith said. 
"When guys are starting to find things a bit tough mentally from just living in the bubble, being able to get out - even if it might just be a few days of being normal might be a real help. Those conversations need to be had.”

Players including Steve Smith may be rested before the Test series: Australia national selector

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Australia’s national selector Trevor Hohns had said on Thursday that the selection committee might consider resting some players including Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood before the Tests against India.

All four of these players are currently in the UAE playing in the IPL. It would mean that these players will come into the Test series without any time in the red-ball format for nearly a year. But the Australian team management understands that there needs to be a balance between work and mental well-being of the players.

“We are very mindful of managing our players and trying at some stage to get them some time at home with their families. Of course, Test cricket is very important so there may be other times when we can give our players that play every format, in particular, a little bit of a break.”
“Their health and well-being is the priority No. 1 and we want to do whatever we can to get the best out of them for the Test series."
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Steve Smith, Warner, Cummins and Hazlewood have been included in the 18-member limited-overs squad which will face India, but Hohns hinted that they might miss out on some games to spend some time with their families.

Check out Australia's full squad here

India’s tour of Australia will kick off with ODIs on 27th November, which will be followed by the T20Is and Test matches.

Published 31 Oct 2020, 21:58 IST
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