Steve Smith fired back at critics who claim that he has too much say in selection of teams in Australia. The Australian captain dismissed talk of "picking my mates" and called it "absolute garbage". Smith came under heavy scrutiny after veteran batsman Ed Cowan was dropped in favour of Daniel Hughes in New South Wales' opening Sheffield Shield game. The call to elevate Hughes raised eyebrows and questions were asked over Smith's influence with national team selection but the Australia skipper strongly refuted such claims.
"I'm not a selector, but I certainly speak to the selectors a lot and express my views," Smith was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"All this rubbish about me picking my mates, it's absolute garbage. I certainly don't agree with that."
"People can say what they like," he said. "I'll read it, but it doesn't bother me. I'll just get on with it."
The likes of former Test pacer Rodney Hogg, former Tasmania paceman Brett Geeves and former Victoria wicketkeeper Darren Berry alleged that the Australian captain was getting his way after his "mate" Nic Maddinson was picked in the New South Wales squad.
"Smith shouldn't be a selector," Hogg told SEN. "We saw Maddinson get selected, (he's) a mate, he's one of Steve Smith's mates. You can't pick bloody mates.
"I think the captain's getting his own way."
Smith shot back at his critics, saying, "People can say what they like," he said. "I'll read it, but it doesn't bother me. I'll just get on with it."