IPL 2020: Smith clears COVID-19 test, returns to training

Smith missed all the ODIs against England due to concussion, leading to doubts over his participation in the first few matches of the Indian Premier League.

Steve Smith and Sanju Samson during a training session on Saturday.   -  Rajasthan Royals

Putting speculations to rest, Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith attended the side’s training session on Saturday.

The Australian superstar missed all the ODIs against England due to concussion, leading to doubts over his participation in the first few matches of the Indian Premier League.

However, the franchise is confident that Smith will clear the mandatory concussion tests and be available from the first game itself - against Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah on September 22.

Smith, Jofra Archer, joined the Royals a couple of days ago and it has been learnt that both of them have cleared the mandatory COVID-19 tests, and are available for selection for the tournament opener. However, Jos Buttler - who travelled separately with his family - could be a doubtful starter due to quarantine protocols.

Steve Smith concussion: Cricket Australia to work with Rajasthan Royals on his return to cricket  

“They have all cleared the tests and are allowed to play the tournament from the beginning,” an IPL official said. The quarantine period in Dubai was reduced to 36 hours, which paved the way for the Australia and England players to feature in the tournament from the beginning.

However, there is no clarity over the availability of Ben Stokes yet. Stokes pulled out of the England’s series against Pakistan midway and rushed to New Zealand to be with his ailing father - who has been diagnosed with brain cancer. With him missing out on the England-Australia limited-overs series as well, there were reports that the 29-year-old could miss the IPL.

However, the franchise is optimistic that he could be available after the first few games.

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