Steve Smith to captain Welsh Fire in The Hundred

Smith will lead a side that includes Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc as well as England World Cup-winners Jonny Bairstow and Liam Plunkett.

Steve Smith was banned from cricket for a year by Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering scandal.   -  AP

Steve Smith will skipper Welsh Fire in English cricket’s new Hundred competition two years after being stripped of the Australia captaincy for his role in a ball-tampering scandal. Smith will lead a side that includes Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc as well as England World Cup-winners Jonny Bairstow and Liam Plunkett, together with rising star Tom Banton and West Indies paceman Ravi Rampaul.

Smith lost the Australia captaincy for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in 2018 during a Test in Cape Town and was given a year-long ban by Cricket Australia.

Wednesday’s announcement came with Smith and David Warner, his then vice-captain who was also banned for 12 months for his part in the incident, back at the Newlands ground in Cape Town for a series-deciding third Twenty20 international against South Africa. “It’s an honour to be asked to captain Welsh Fire in the first year of The Hundred,” said Smith.

‘Super strong’ squad

“Our squad looks super strong with a great group of players who’ve dominated the international and domestic scenes for the past few years.”

Welsh Fire coach Gary Kirsten said: “Steve’s knowledge and experience of leading teams in pressurised situations will definitely help us in this first season of The Hundred.”

Welsh Fire currently does not include any Welsh players, in the competition’s opening fixture away to Oval Invincibles in London on July 17.

The Hundred is a new tournament consisting of eight city-based franchise sides, breaking away from England’s traditional county system. Teams will bat for 100 balls each with overs lasting for 10 balls and bowlers either bowling five or 10 balls consecutively.

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