Steve Smith to make his broadcasting debut as an expert in IPL 2023

Steve Smith will be seen in the commentary box in IPL 2023
Steve Smith will be seen in the commentary box in IPL 2023

Australian batsman Steve Smith is set to make his presence felt in the upcoming IPL as a member of the expert panel. One of the finest cricketers of his generation, his valuable insights should add great depth and a different perspective for viewers.

Smith's captaincy recently played a huge role in Australia's turnaround from the third test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy to the end of the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series. Fans and media members were effusive in their praise for the 33-year-old's proactive and creative leadership during the recently concluded Australian tour of India.

Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the IPL, made a statement earlier confirming Steve Smith's addition to the panel. The statement read:

"Steve Smith has joined the expert panel for the marquee tournament. Smith will be making his broadcast debut with Star Sports, adding his invaluable insights and expertise to Star Sports' already impressive roster of panelists."

Star Sports also shared the news on their official Twitter handle.

In a media release by Star Sports after their announcement, Steve Smith was quoted as saying:

"I think I read the game pretty well so hopefully there will be some good insights for all the people watching IPL out there. I’m certainly excited about joining the Star Sports Team and I’m looking forward to this new experience."

Smith posted about joining an exciting team in the upcoming IPL on his Twitter account a day back. This created great curiosity among fans about whether one of the ten playing teams would acquire the services of the right-hander.

However, with this official update, fans can now look forward to the great Australian donning his new role behind the microphone.

Will Steve Smith ever return as a player in the IPL?

Steve Smith last played for the Delhi Capitals in 2021
Steve Smith last played for the Delhi Capitals in 2021

Over the past week, there has been speculation about Steve Smith being a potential replacement player for a few IPL teams. Teams like the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) had a strong case for acquiring the Aussie batter due to injury concerns with Shreyas Iyer and Jonny Bairstow. While Bairstow is ruled out of the IPL, Iyer might return at some point during the season.

Punjab Kings needed an accomplished batter to partner their captain Shikhar Dhawan after Bairstow was ruled out. Smith looked like a great option considering the rich vein of form he displayed a few months back in the Big Bash League (BBL) while opening the batting. In the five matches he played, the right-hander powered his way to 346 runs at an incredible average of 86.50 and a strike rate of 175.

However, the Punjab Kings opted to sign Matthew Short, who also performed exceptionally well in the BBL, finishing as the second-leading scorer.

Smith last played in the IPL in the 2021 season for the Delhi Capitals and had earlier played for the Rajasthan Royals in two different stints. He also played for the Rising Pune Supergiant and captained them during their run to the final in 2017.

Overall, Smith boasts impressive numbers in his IPL career, averaging 34.5 at a strike rate of 128. Hence, it will be surprising if the veteran batter does not get another opportunity as a player in future IPLs.

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