Smith‘s surprise blockbuster BBL return
The world's best batsman is back in the Big Bash League, with Steve Smith inking a deal with the Sydney Sixers for BBL09.
In a major boost for the tournament and for broadcasters, the biggest name in the game is back at the Sixers - where he helped deliver the inaugural BBL title.
Smith's availability will be dependant on his international commitments, with Australia on an ODI tour of India in late January.
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But he could return for the final two-to-three games and the finals, in what could prove a ratings winner for broadcasters.
In recent years, the Sixers have made a conscious decision to get Smith and other Test stars who never turned out for the franchise their off books in order to relieve salary cap pressure.
But it's felt Smith can bring blockbuster value even for the shortest possible cameo.
"When the schedule came out and I saw there was a chance to wear the magenta again I jumped at the opportunity and look forward to joining up with the team after my January national team commitments have ended," Smith said in a press release.
With the Twenty20 World Cup being played in Australia next year, Smith doesn't want to leave any stone unturned in his preparation.
The 30-year-old recently starred in Australia's whitewash series wins over Sri Lanka and Pakistan, earning man-of-the-series honours for his exceptional unbeaten 80 against Pakistan in Canberra.
"While I know the fans will and should be excited by this development, our players will benefit from his skills, support and perspectives on the game," said Sixers coach Greg Shipperd said.
"Steve was instrumental in our recruitment of Josh Philippe and Josh, along with other youngsters in our squad like Jack Edwards, Lloyd Pope, Tom Curran and Justin Avendano, will be the better for sharing a dressing room with an Australian great."
Smith's signing brings further star power to the BBL, which is already set for the monster arrivals of South African superstars AB de Villiers (Brisbane Heat) and Dale Steyn (Melbourne Stars).