Gilchrist calls it ridiculous that Smith was not part of the Sixers BBL game￼
The Australian opener Joe Burns tweeted on Wednesday that it was ‘Crazy’ that Steve Smith was unable to play for Sixers in the ongoing BBL, Gilchrist responded to the tweet and called it ‘ridiculous’.
Former Australia skipper Adam Gilchrist takes a dig into Steve Smith’s absence from the COVID-19-hit Sydney Sixers for their Big Bash League game on Wednesday as “ridiculous,” with Cricket Australia (CA) coming under criticism for not finding a way to let him in the playing X1.
Meanwhile, the Australian opener Joe Burns took it on Twitter on Wednesday to express that it was ‘Crazy’ that Steve Smith was unable to play for Sixers in the ongoing BBL, Gilchrist responded to the tweet and called it ‘ridiculous’.
The challenger final in Sydney went without Smith being part of the Sixers as CA acknowledged it needed to make its regulations flexible about the player eligibility during the pandemic.
It is to be noted that after the last week’s cancellation of a limited-overs series between Australia and New Zealand, Smith had made himself available to play for the Sixers in BBL.
Previously, the right-hander had chosen not to sign a deal with the Sixers, thereby freeing up a spot on the team’s roster in the domestic Twenty20 competition.
But even after the Sixers squad was got hammered by COVID-19 and injuries, Smith was ineligible by CA because replacements can only come from a Local Replacement Player pool, created due to COVID-19 rules and regulation earlier in January.
“In the past two days, a need has been identified to expand the central Local Replacement Player pool in response to heightened COVID risks in and around the competition,”Cricket Australia said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
“After discussions with the Sydney Sixers, it was decided that Steve Smith would not be added to the pool.”
CA concerns over replacement drew criticism from the current and the former players.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan, while talking with Fox Cricket said that having Smith play would have brought the game so much more attention.
“Smith, a legend of the game, gets a rare opportunity… It’s a showcase last five games where you want more eyeballs and to try and get as many people through the gates, and he’s not allowed to play,”Vaughan said.
The winner of Wednesday’s game advanced to Friday’s final against the Perth Scorchers, a match that will be played in Melbourne due to Western Australia’s border restrictions.