Australia Test star Smith has signed for Sussex ahead of the Ashes | Aici

SYDNEY – Australia Test star Steve Smith will prepare for this year’s Ashes with a short stint in the English county of Sussex, the club announced on Thursday.

Smith, second in the Test batting order, will be available for County Championship games against Worcester, Leicestershire and Glamorgan before the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on June 16.

The signing of the former Australia captain, who averages more than 60 in 92 Tests, will give him valuable practice in English conditions.

“I’m excited to join Sussex for a few games in May and hope to contribute to a successful season,” said the 33-year-old.

“I’m particularly looking forward to working with the young players in the team and hopefully I can give them some guidance.”

Sussex Cricket CEO Rob Andrew said he was delighted with the high-profile signing.

“Having the best batsman in the world playing for Sussex ahead of the expected Ashes Test series is good for us and the County Championship,” he said.

“To be able to attract a player of Steve Smith’s quality is a huge statement and will be of great benefit to our local young players, especially given the crop of young talent we have.”

Smith joins India Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara, who has agreed to return to Sussex for the 2023 season.

Australia will defend the Ashes in a five-Test series in June and July.

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