Steve Smith Returns To Cricket With A Half-Century In Canada

Updated: 29 June 2018 09:55 IST

The 29-year-old eased his way back by scoring 61 off 41 balls for the Toronto Nationals in a six-wicket victory over the Vancouver Knights at King City.

Steve Smith Returns To Cricket With A Half-Century In Canada
Smith's knock included 8 boundaries and a six before he was out stumped off the bowling of Fawad Ahmed. © AFP

Steve Smith, the former Australia skipper, scored a half-century in the Global T20 Canada on Thursday, to mark his return to professional cricket. Smith was handed a one-year ban from international and domestic cricket by Cricket Australia for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal that erupted in South Africa in March. However, he is allowed to play in the low-key Canadian event. The 29-year-old eased his way back by scoring 61 off 41 balls for the Toronto Nationals in a six-wicket victory over the Vancouver Knights at King City.

Smith's knock included eight boundaries and one six before he was out stumped off the bowling of Fawad Ahmed.

New Zealander Anton Devcich, with an unbeaten 92, and skipper Darren Sammy, with 22 not out, steered Toronto home, finishing on 231-4 off 19.2 overs after Vancouver hit 227-4 off 20 overs.

Smith is playing in the Canada competition along with David Warner, who was also suspended from cricket following the ball-tampering controversy.

The third player suspended in the scandal, Cameron Bancroft, is not taking part.

Toronto skipper Sammy said before Thursday's game that Smith should be allowed to rebuild his career.

"We will make mistakes, but it doesn't mean you've got to keep kicking a man when he's down," Sammy said, referring to recent coverage of Smith during a visit to a bar in New York.

"That's not the humane way to do things, and I think there's a right to punish but there's also a right to forgive and move on."

Vancouver captain Chris Gayle was similarly sympathetic, calling for Smith and Warner to be given a second chance.

"They've already paid a penalty for what they've done, and just for them to go on with their lives and have some fun, just like any other cricketer, to fulfill and work for the family, and they can actually provide on the table for them," Gayle said. "People make mistakes, you have to give people a chance."

Six teams are taking part in the Global T20 Canada competition, which runs until July 15.

(With AFP Inputs)

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Topics : Australia Cricket Team Steven Smith Cricket
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