Australia hero Steve Smith speaks out after signing county deal ahead of Ashes

Australia batter Steve Smith will be available to play three matches for Sussex after signing a pre-Ashes deal with the county.

Smith will be in contention for Sussex’s trips to Worcestershire on May 4 and Leicestershire on May 11, as well as a home game against Glamorgan on May 18.

The 33-year-old is one of the best players of his generation, having scored 30 centuries in 92 Tests at an average of more than 60.

Smith will view his spell at Sussex as ideal preparation for this summer’s Ashes series, which takes place in June and July.

England are bidding to win back the Ashes following Australia’s emphatic 4-0 win at home in 2021-22.

‘I am excited about joining Sussex for a few games in May and hopefully making a contribution to a successful season,’ Smith said.

‘I am particularly looking forward to working with the younger players in the squad and hoping I can provide some guidance to them.’

Sussex Cricket CEO, Rob Andrew added: ‘We are thrilled to have Steve Smith available for our County Championship matches in May.

‘To have arguably the world’s best batter play for Sussex just before an eagerly awaited Ashes Test series is great for us and the County Championship.

‘Our Championship form has not been good enough for a number of years, and under the new direction of Head Coach Paul Farbrace, we are looking to be positive and ambitious.

‘Being able to attract a player of Steve Smith’s calibre is a massive statement and will be of great benefit to our young homegrown players, particularly our crop of talented young batters.’

Smith joins India batter Cheteshwar Pujara at Sussex, who finished seventh in Division Two of the County Championship last summer.

Former Australia captain Smith has scored more than 3,000 runs in 32 Ashes Tests, making him the fifth-leading run-scorer in the history of the contest.

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