The star Australian batsman Steve Smith has said that he is ready to play in cash ricj Indian Premier League (IPL) if scheduled T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia is postponed.
Smith is contracted to Rajasthan Royals, where he was named captain for the 2020 tournament.
Quoted by ESPNCricinfo, Smith has said that while international cricket is priority for him, he could see the sense in travelling to play in the IPL in October and November, should the event be postponed due to the complexities of hosting a global event this year.
In a letter to the ICC revealed last week, Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings requested this year’s event be moved to 2021, with that year’s event, scheduled to be hosted by India, moved to 2022.
Returning to training with his New South Wales squad members in Sydney on Monday, Smith said the Australian team would be led by expert and government advice about their own resumption of play, with CA currently mulling over a request from the ECB to tour England in September for a limited-overs series originally slated for July.
“I think when you’re playing for your country at a World Cup, that’s the pinnacle for one-day or T20 cricket, so of course I’d prefer to play in that,” Smith told ESPNCricinfo.
“But if that doesn’t happen and the IPL’s there, and they postpone it, then so be it. IPL’s also a terrific tournament as a domestic tournament. So that’s out of everyone’s control at the moment, players are just doing what we’re told and going where we need to go and playing whatever’s on at that stage.
“I guess there’ll be some more news about it soon, probably some decisions to be made soon, so I’m sure we’ll all find out and know where we’re going to be. I personally haven’t really thought about it, I think it’d just be going off the advice of the professionals and the governments and essentially doing what we’re told. If that happens then great, if not then there’s just so much going on in the world right now that cricket kind of seems a little bit irrelevant. So we’ll get back when we’re told to and until then it is sit tight, get fit and strong and freshen up mentally.”
In terms of the shape of cricket when it does resume in a fundamentally changed universe, Smith said that he agreed new regulations restricting the use of saliva to polish the ball would affect the contest between batsmen and bowlers, noting too that his own habit of spitting on his hands for a bit of extra grip in the field virtually every ball would have to change.
“I’ve always been one to want a fair contest between bat and ball, so if that’s taken away, even as a batter I don’t think that’s great,” Smith said. “Whether they can find other ways with certain things, it’ll be hard. I actually spit on my hands most balls and that’s how I get grip and stuff. So that might take some adjusting to certain things like that, but that’s something for the ICC to figure out what they want to do going forward and different regulations. We’ll see how it all lands, everything is up in the air at the moment, but we’ll see where everything goes.”