Inside the Region & WICB News
Date Published: 2014-01-04
Region & WICB News
Smith confirms story on his dramatic withdrawal from Big Bash League
Bridgetown, Barbados, January 4 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Two weeks after BCAcricket.org broke the news that Dwayne Smith had dramatically pulled out of his contract with Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League (BBL) after twice changing his mind about travelling while at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) here, the experienced Barbados all-rounder and West Indies player has confirmed the sequence of events while stating he was now "very good, getting fit and ready to play for West Indies whenever called upon".
"No one knows what had happened and I didn't say anything because as I said it was personal and I would let it stay that way because no one knows what had happened and it would go on and on," Smith said in an interview on Line & Length, a weekly television programme.
"I know that people are talking but I am here now to let people know that Dwayne Smith is very good, getting fit and ready to play for West Indies whenever called upon."
On December 19, BCAcricket.org reported that "Smith was scheduled to leave here last Friday (December 13) for London en route to Australia but dramatically asked airline officials to disembark the aircraft while it was on the runway at the Grantley Adams International Airport".
The report quoted well-placed sources as saying that Smith, 30, again went to GAIA earlier the following week to leave for Australia but changed his mind yet again.
The sources, who requested anonymity, said Smith had informed Perth Scorchers officials through his agent that he would no longer be playing in the BBL this season.
When asked in the television interview if he had made two trips to the GAIA and on one occasion "actually got on the plane and then deplaned after it had taxied down the runway", Smith responded: "Well, yes. Everything that was said was true but I'm sure that people would look at it different no matter where you go around the Caribbean because the minute something like that happens, there is always going to be speculation but as I said, it has been sorted, I have got that out of the way now and just back on my cricket again."
On a request to the Barbados selectors on December 18, Smith played in the fourth and final national trial match at Desmond Haynes Oval the following day, in preparation for the 2014 WICB NAGICO Super50 championship in Trinidad & Tobago from January 30 to February 16.
He made his presence felt in that match felt by slamming 49 off only 29 balls with five sixes and two fours in an opening partnership of 53 in just 4.4 overs with former West Indies Test opener Omar Phillips as Sulieman Benn's XI beat Carlos Brathwaite's XI by two wickets with 3.4 overs to spare.
Following the story on BCAcricket.org, Perth Scorchers confirmed Smith's unavailability in a Cricinfo report, saying it was due to "personal reasons". He was replaced a couple days later by Yasir Arafat, the Pakistan all-rounder.
As was always expected, Smith was named in the Barbados 14-man squad on December 27 for the NAGICO Super50 tournament.