BBL Qualifier - Melbourne Stars v Sydney Sixers
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31: Steve Smith of the 6ers in action during Big Bash League Finals match between the Melbourne Stars and the Sydney Sixers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 31, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images)
BBL Qualifier - Melbourne Stars v Sydney Sixers

An array of household names have offered their public support for Australian vice-captain Steve Smith after the 32-year-old was barred from representing the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League.

Despite the pink-clad franchise reportedly offering the former skipper a legitimate place on their roster following the news that Australia's limited-overs series with New Zealand had been cancelled, Smith was denied the right to join the Sixers' squad.

According to Fox Sports, the idiosyncratic batter was rebuffed as he had not been listed within the appropriate COVID player replacement pool.

RELATED: Sixers bid for BBL three-peat hit by hammer blow

It is believed that the Sixers failed to follow such protocols as Smith would have been available for selection by any of their opposing franchises had he been listed inside of this pool.

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Following the announcement of the devastating, and rankling, blow, several ex and current players made their feelings known on the decision, including current Sixer, Jordan Silk.

Speaking on SEN 1170 BreakfastSilk was unable to mask his disappointment and confusion.

“I’m not too sure what has happened in the last 24 hours, I was hearing he was going to play for us yesterday morning," he commented.

“But we found out last night that he’s unavailable, I don’t know the ins and outs of what’s gone down and what it’s to do with, but it’s obviously disappointing that a player like Steve Smith isn’t allowed to play in the BBL for us.”

Silk continued by revealing just how eager Smith had been to re-don the Sixers' strip and what lay ahead for the back-to-back champions.

“We know he [Smith] is a traditional Sydney Sixer, he’s been there since the beginning,” he said.

“I believe he really wanted to play for us but I think the complexities with COVID and the [replacement] player pools maybe affected it.

“Maybe in another season when that’s not around he could’ve played for us.

“It is disappointing because he would’ve been a massive drawcard at this time of year, to have a player of his quality when the quality of the players has been talked about with players missing due to COVID.”

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Silk's mild views were expanded on by Fox Cricket commentator and ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan who suggested the choice to keep Smith out of the board-run competition was "laughable".
“I think it’s bonkers,” Vaughan said.

Steve Smith, a legend of the game, gets a rare opportunity [to play in BBL]. 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.

“I just think it’s laughable.”

In a further jab to the governing body, Smith's former Test teammate Joe Burns took to Twitter in an effort to further lambast Cricket Australia's actions.

Within a brief message published on Friday afternoon, the fellow 32-year-old claimed that the choice to operate with replacements had led to a loss of "competitive integrity" and that it was "crazy" that Smith had been locked out of Sydney's plans for the remainder of the tournament.

Legendary T20 all-rounder Dan Christian also used his own social media account to offer his dismay at the decision.

The Smith-less Sixers are set to face off against the Perth Scorchers in a play-off contest scheduled at Marvel Stadium.

The bat-flip between the competition's most successful sides is set to commence prior to 7:15 AEDT on Saturday night.