The broadcaster of the Indian Premier League (IPL) announced on Tuesday (28) that Australia’s Steve Smith will make his debut as a commentator at the upcoming tournament, putting an end to speculation about his involvement in the event.
The 16th edition of the Twenty20 competition starts on Friday (31) in Ahmedabad, featuring 10 teams and a multitude of international sportstars set to participate in the eight-week extravaganza.
“Steve Smith has joined the expert panel for the marquee tournament. Smith will be making his broadcast debut with Star Sports, adding his invaluable insights and expertise to Star Sports’ already impressive roster of panelists,” the broadcaster said in a statement.
Smith, 33, announced his return to the tournament on Twitter on Monday (27), saying in a video: “Namaste, India. I’ve got some exciting news for you: I’m joining IPL 2023.”
The 15-second video posted by Smith sparked speculation that he might make a comeback to the tournament as a player, but it drew considerable mirth on social media for his robotic demeanor, as he didn’t blink throughout the clip.
The prominent Australian batsman, featured in the Delhi Capitals’ team during the 2021 season of the lucrative IPL. However, he failed to secure a contract in the following season’s auction.
Smith did not participate in the mini-auction held in December 2022, but any team can sign him as an injury replacement.
(With inputs from AFP)