Suspended Australia captain Smith set to play in Canada

SYDNEY: Steve Smith's comeback to cricket looks set to begin in Canada with the suspended former Australia captain being named as a marquee player in a Canadian Twenty20 league.

Cricket Australia reported on its website Friday that Smith will join fellow international stars, including Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Shahid Afridi, in the six-team tournament beginning June 28.

The 28-year-old Smith, who was suspended for 12 months in March for his role in the South African ball-tampering scandal, has been allowed to play domestic tournaments outside Australia by Cricket Australia.

The Global T20 Canada tournament will have six teams, five representing Canadian cities — Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg. The sixth, a Cricket West Indies representative team, will consist entirely of players from the Caribbean, as part of an official partnership with Cricket West Indies (CWI).

Teams will be stocked with players through a draft that will take place on May 31. Four roster spots will be set aside for Canadians, including one for a Canadian under-23 player.

The competition will have 22 matches ending in playoffs and the championship game on July 16. All matches will take place at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club in Toronto.