Steve Smith: 'No chance' of Big Bash

·1-min read

Steve Smith has ruled out participating in the Twenty20 Big Bash League this season, saying that continuing to play in bio-secure bubbles amid the COVID-19 pandemic will take a toll on his mental health.

Smith has already experienced life in different bubbles, first when the Australian T20 squad toured England and now with the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is being played in the United Arab Emirates.

The Big Bash League is set to run from December to February, with Australia's national team players expected to play for their domestic sides in the latter stages after India's tour of Australia - matches which will also be played in bio-secure bubbles.

"I'll be honest with you, absolutely no chance," Smith, who was part of the Sydney Sixers team who won the title in February, was quoted as saying on ESPN Cricinfo when asked if he might play in the Big Bash.

"It's still early days with the bubbles. We don't know how long it's going to last for.

"There's an uncertainty there. It's just going to be about having open conversations with coaches, general managers, whoever, to ensure that people are keeping their head space in a reasonable place.

"When guys are starting to find things a bit tough mentally from just living in the bubble, being able to get out - even if it might just be a few days of being normal might be a real help. Those conversations need to be had."

Smith is not the first player to have concerns over players' mental health in bubbles, with England's World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan also saying players may withdraw from tours if their mental health is at risk.