Smith not approached as a ‘marquee player’ for Global T20 Canada league

Cricket Canada president, Ranjit Saini, however, tells Sportstar that the list of players will only be available after the player's draft releases on May 22.

If Steve Smith features in the Global T20 Canada tournament, it will be his first outing since his involvement in the ball-tampering saga.   -  Getty Images

There have been multiple reports that Steve Smith — who is in middle of a one-year suspension following his involvement in the ball-tampering saga — has been approached by the Global T20 Canada tournament.

But tournament host Cricket Canada has confirmed that Smith is not one of the marquee players it has approached. “We have approached a few marquee players, but Smith is not one of them,” Cricket Canada’s president, Ranjit Saini, told Sportstar on Friday.

Saini added that the list of players will be available only after May 22, with the player draft scheduled for May 26. “Once we declare the draft list, we will know who all have applied. Even we don’t have access to that,” he said, adding, “If a player wants, he can put his name in the draft.”

With Cricket Australia suspending him for a year, will Smith be able to feature in the league, even if he applies for the draft, in personal capacity?

Saini said that if such a situation were to arise, then he would have to obtain a No Objection Certificate from Cricket Australia. “Even if he applies (personally), his eligibility will be determined by Cricket Australia. Since he is not suspended by the ICC, the Australian board will have to determine whether a player would be allowed to participate. We can’t judge,” Saini said.

The franchise-based league has been organised from June 28 to July 15 by Cricket Canada and the Mercuri Group. The league will feature six teams and the owners of the franchises will be unveiled later.

While Saini confirmed that Smith is not on their list of marquee players, it remains to be seen if the Aussie has in fact registered himself for the new league.