Australian cricketer Steve Smith has made his return to cricket, despite serving a 12-ban from Cricket Australia for ball tampering.
Smith featured in the opening game of the Global T20 Canada tournament today between the Vancouncer Knights and the Toronto Nationals. But it was teammate and Northern Knights batsman Anton Devcich who led the Nations side to victory.
Devcich scored 92 from just 44 balls, including six sixes and 10 boundaries, as Toronto chased down Vancouver's total of 227 with six wickets and four balls to spare.
Smith was stumped off the bowling of fellow Australian Fawad Ahmed after facing 41 balls with eight fours and a six. He put on a 91-run partnership with Devcich for the third wicket.
Black Caps bowler Tim Southee took 1-44 for Vancouver in defeat.
Smith was banned from international and domestic cricket alongside Australian vice-captain David Warner for their part in the ball-tampering scandal during the test series against South Africa in March. The Cricket Australia sanctions allow the pair to play club cricket abroad.
Warner is also playing in the Global T20 Canada tournament, featuring for the Winnipeg Hawks.
West Indies star Chris Gayle scored 17 but was eclipsed by countryman Evin Lewis, who scored 96 while leading Vancouver to 227-4 after being sent in to bat.
Getting the six-team tournament ready was a race to the wire with ticket and broadcast information coming late. That showed in the empty seats for the opening game.
The event runs through July 15.Organizers have recruited some marquee names to captain the squads in Sammy, Dwayne Bravo (Winnipeg) and Gayle, Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga (Montreal) and Pakistan's Shahid Afridi (Edmonton).
A Cricket West Indies "B" side fills out the six-team field. There was a relaxed atmosphere prior to the game with the Vancouver team playing pickup soccer and the Toronto side opting for soccer-volleyball.
The tournament is a partnership between Cricket Canada and the India-based Mercuri Group.
- With AP