Steve Smith proof the Big Bash has power

Rob Forsaith
Steve Smith is relishing the chance to return to the BBL fold with the high-flying Sydney Sixers

This BBL season has been criticised for crowd sizes and season length but Steve Smith serves as a reminder of the competition's upside.

Smith, having captained Sydney Sixers to their maiden title in 2012, regards his first stint with the club as a formative moment that preceded a rapid rise.

Now arguably the world's best batsman is back in magenta, preparing for another final and dispensing advice to inexperienced teammates about handling the national glare on Saturday.

"In many ways he's changed. In many ways he's exactly like he was in BBL1," Sixers general manager Jodie Hawkins told AAP.

"It's lifted everyone a little bit but it's not like he's come in and said 'this is how we need to do things or this is how I'll do things'. There's been no fanfare."

Smith is not earning big money and could easily be enjoying rare respite from a congested international schedule, like fellow superstars David Warner, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.

That is not Smith's go, he has an insatiable appetite for runs no matter the field or format.

But the origins of the 30-year-old's comeback are more complex and date back to 2012, when he struck the winning runs to upset Perth at the WACA in the first BBL final.

Smith, barking orders to then 40-year-old Stuart MacGill and fellow veteran Brett Lee, rose to the occasion and relished the sort of opportunity that previously wasn't available domestically.

"It was great ... I've got some really fond memories," Smith recalled on Thursday.

"That really helped me, that first year.

"Sold-out crowds, plenty of people watching on TV and lots of pressure moments.

"Being able to captain that side when Brad Haddin wasn't there was pretty special as well, it taught me a lot."

When Smith fell out of love with the sport while spending 2018 in exile following the sandpaper scandal, the Sixers were representative of why he first fell in love with it.

Smith mentored some Sixers behind the scenes, notably taking Josh Philippe under his wing after convincing the young gun to leave Perth.

"He gave me a phone call when I initially turned it down and it was definitely an important one. He sort of opened my eyes to a great opportunity," Philippe said.

Upon hearing this patchwork summer would involve an ODI tour of India then a potential BBL window, Smith made it clear he wanted in.

"Unfortunately the schedule hasn't allowed it over the last five or six years ... I've really enjoyed it, any chance I get (to return again) I'll be jumping at it," Smith said.

Australia are slated to play six home ODIs after a five-Test summer in 2020-21, suggesting it will be tricky, but Hawkins is optimistic and has urged Cricket Australia to try to find a window for the nation's best to play BBL.