Australian cricket star and vice-captain Steve Smith gained immense popularity for his captaincy during the two Test matches and the ODI series against India. However, he became a fans’ favorite after his exceptional performances for the Sydney Sixers in the 2022-23 Big Bash League (BBL) season. Although he played only five matches, Smith emerged as the 11th highest run-scorer in the tournament with two centuries, one half-century and a best strike rate of 174. A replacement player for the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) edition.
The ongoing IPL season has seen a string of injuries, with seven replacements already made (including three overseas). Unfortunately, Smith may not feature in the 16th edition of the lucrative league even if a franchise is interested in signing him up. Smith did not register himself for the 2023 auction, so the franchises can only sign replacement players from the player pool of the auction.
There was a golden opportunity for teams to sign Smith when Kane Williamson was dropped for Gujarat Titans. Smith is similar to the Kiwi legend in many ways and could have been helpful to Hardik Pandya in terms of captaincy. However, Smith cannot participate. However, Smith is a part of the IPL in another capacity, as he is a commentator for Star Sports.
The Titans have 13 games left and will be eager to sign a top-order overseas batsman as Williamson’s replacement in the team. Similarly, Mumbai Indians are yet to name an overseas replacement for their Australian fast bowler Jhye Richardson.