Steve Smith has reportedly turned down an offer from the Sydney Sixers ahead of this summer's Big Bash League (BBL), per Newscorp's Ben Horne.
Smith has told the franchise that he is unsure whether he will need a rest post Australia's Test match summer, which is during the BBL's peak January period.
He did so admitting he doesn't want to occupy a spot on the Sixers' list in favour of another younger player who could play the entire season.
Cricket Australia’s pursuit of David Warner as a marquee Big Bash player is in danger of being trumped by Steve Smith not playing after last season’s snub | @malcolmconn https://t.co/GnqNSR8iTD
— SMH Sport (@SMHsport) August 18, 2022
"At the moment he has decided not to commit,” Smith’s manager Warren Craig told the Sydney Morning Herald.
"There is a lot of cricket coming up."
A decision now falls on the Sydney Sixers, who need to decide whether they fill their 18-player roster with younger domestic talent, or to keep a spot free for Smith. The upcoming BBL draft August 28 is also likely to influence the club's recruiting decisions.
If the Sixers opt to recruit so that their list reaches the permitted capacity, Cricket Australia (CA) is vowing to allow Smith to play a few BBL games if he changes his mind.
Last summer, Smith was sensationally barred from participating in the BBL finals for the Sixers after rival clubs believed it contradicted the purpose of the existing pool of standby players, which was introduced last season to manage Covid-19 outbreaks.
Horne reported that the BBL is eager to find a way for Smith to get onto the Sixers list as a replacement player if he changes his mind later in the year.
Steve Smith has turned down a BBL offer, reports @BenHorne8.
Plus, the latest on Chris Lynn's talks with Cricket Australia: https://t.co/r0Xvs8oXiX pic.twitter.com/9TyTJIFhQa
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) August 18, 2022
South Africa's withdrawal from a three-match ODI series in January was thought to open the door for international stars to feature in the upcoming BBL, but the report also claims that there is acceptance that Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood also won't play in the BBL due to their heavy workload over the Test match summer.