Steve Smith not worried Big Bash will overshadow Australia-England ODI cricket series

Captain says playing for country is important thing for any Australia cricketer, and so series remains key for teammates

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 12:  Jack Wildermuth of the Renegades is bowled during the Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Renegades and the Melbourne Stars  at Etihad Stadium on January 12, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***
Powered by automated translation

Australia captain Steve Smith is sure this month's one-day international series against England can hold its own against the allure of the Big Bash.

Until recently it would have been hard to imagine a contest between the old rivals playing second fiddle to any other cricketing contest, but Australia's Twenty20 competition has been a runaway success.

With a free-to-air television deal, colourful brands and a new breed of fans flocking to see their local franchises, the BBL is becoming a cultural phenomenon Down Under.

Smith on Maxwell's non-selection

Such is the dramatic impact it has had, Smith was asked on the eve of Sunday's first ODI in Melbourne whether the international side felt overshadowed by their own domestic tournament.

"Not from the players' point of view, no," he said.

"Everyone does everything they can to play for Australia or England. That's your ultimate - to play for your country. The Big bash has been a great success and draws plenty of crowds but I hope the one-day set-up does the same.

"I think we'll see some very entertaining cricket and there's some good talent on show."

Whether Australia vice-captain David Warner will be one of the attractions at the MCG is uncertain.

He has been struggling with a sickness bug for the past 48 hours, just as England's Joe Root recovers from a similar problem, and was unable to take an active part in training.

Smith was optimistic about his participation but stopped short of certainty.

"I think he's okay, but he was having a bit of a gastro issue," he said. "He turned up and walked the oval a few times, but he said he'll be fine so I don't think there'll be any trouble."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 13:  ODI captains Steve Smith and Eoin Morgan pose for a photo with the Gillette ODI series trophy on January 13, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)
Australia captain Steve Smith, left, and England counterpart Eoin Morgan will play in a series of five one-day internationals. Darrian Traynor / Getty Images


Read more

Plunkett backs England to regain some pride against Australia in ODI series

England cricket coach Trevor Bayliss to step down after 2019 Ashes Tests

Ashes analysis: It's not just in Australia that England are an awful away team


Smith will be hoping to continue his dominance over the tourists after feasting on 687 runs at an average of 137.40 during the Ashes.

The make-up of the English attack is different, with Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett and Adil Rashid all arriving to try their luck.

Asked if they might enjoy better results than their Test colleagues, he said: "I hope not. I've played a lot against those guys in the Champions Trophy, in series in England and here, too.

"But it's a different line-up and each of the guys in their team have a different set of skills. They're good one-day bowlers and a good one-day outfit so it's a good challenge."