'It's an honour': Steve Smith handed new captaincy role

Former Australia captain Steve Smith has been named captain of the Welsh Fire in the inaugural season of The Hundred cricket league in Britain.

Smith, who is currently in South Africa with the Australia team, was banned from international cricket for a year in March 2018 for his role in a plot to cheat in a Test in Cape Town.

WHAT A RETURN: Smith and Warner star in Cape Town triumph

He was also banned for a further year from holding any leadership role in the Australia team. That suspension expires at the end of next month.

Smith's appointment to captain Welsh Fire is his first permanent leadership role since the ban.

He stepped in to captain Rajasthan Royals for part of the Indian Premier League season last year.

"It's an honour to be asked to captain Welsh Fire in the first year of The Hundred," Smith said.

Steve Smith in action for Australia. Image: Getty

Welsh Fire predicting good things of Smith

Welsh Fire coach Gary Kirsten, a South African, said Smith's "knowledge and experience of leading teams in pressurised situations will definitely help us.

"He's got a track record of getting the best out of his players while performing to a very high standard himself, which will be key for us this summer."

Smith is set to lead Welsh Fire against Oval Invincibles in the first game of the new limited-overs competition in London on July 17.

The Hundred is a league launched by the England and Wales Cricket Board where each match features two 100-ball innings in a new format for cricket.

There are eight franchises and the league has attracted many of the game's top stars.