Batting superstar Steve Smith is back to test his injured elbow in one final game for NSW before he and a swag of players head to the Indian Premier League.
Smith along with Test bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc have been recalled for the one-day game against Queensland on Wednesday.
But on Thursday Smith and Hazlewood, along with NSW captain Pat Cummins, David Warner and Moises Henriques will put on their protective equipment and board a plan to India for the IPL.
Smith hasn’t played since an elbow issue which had been affecting him during the Test series against India flared up again during a Shield game in February.
“Steve worked really hard to get back fit and to add someone of his class is a major boost and we are looking forward to him hopefully playing his best cricket,” NSW coach Phil Jaques said, excited at bringing such star quality back in to his team, if only for one more game.
Steve Smith joins 3⃣ other Aussie stars back in our #MarshCup squad!! 🏏
📰 Squad news > https://t.co/WlTpgFMI9K#NSWvQLDpic.twitter.com/LPi8mHpocz
“It’s obviously fantastic every time we get these boys back playing for NSW. They are all world class and are great to have around the group.”
“The way we look at it is it’s always a bonus when we have the Aussie guys back in the group but the fact they are going (to the IPL) means we may get the chance to give other guys the opportunity to step up.”
A win in the one-day game will ensure NSW host the final on April 11.
Fats bowler Starc isn’t going to the IPL and, along with Test spinner Nathan Lyon, will hang around and also be part of the NSW push to host the Shield final when they play Queensland again starting on Saturday.
The teams are unlikely to be displaced from first and second on the table going in to the final game, and the winner of the game at North Dalton Park in Wollongong will host the final.
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