KFC BBL|08

Smith, Cummins help steel Sixers for semi

13 February 2019

Former Australia captain and freshly minted Allan Border Medallist help the Sydney Sixers prepare for showdown with the Melbourne Renegades

Steve Smith and the world's most-overqualified net bowler Pat Cummins have helped to steel the Sydney Sixers for their KFC BBL semi-final.

Smith, Cummins and injured quick Josh Hazlewood were at the SCG on Wednesday for the Sixers' final session, before their squad departs for Friday's semi against the Melbourne Renegades at Marvel Stadium.

Cummins steamed in just two days after collecting the Allan Border Medal at Monday's Australian Cricket Awards gala event, with the Sydney Thunder superstar tuning up for Australia's limited-overs tour of India by testing out the Sixers' batsmen.

Allan Border Medal winner Pat Cummins

Smith, still with his right arm in a brace and recovering from elbow surgery, isn't yet in a position to strap on the pads or roll the arm over as he builds towards a likely return in the Indian Premier League.

But the gifted batsman, whose 12-month ban has a tick over six weeks remaining, has chatted with many of the Sixers' players and coaches at length.

"He's a wonderful guy and he's been around at a couple of sessions, helping us out," Sixers paceman Sean Abbott told reporters.

"He's always there to bounce ideas off when it comes to cricket or just have a laugh with.

"It's good to have him around. He's quite a positive influence on the group."

Smith is no stranger to the franchise, having relaunched his international career by captaining the Sixers to the inaugural 2012 BBL title.

The 29-year-old has played a behind-the-scenes role in the Sixers' current campaign, mentoring Josh Philippe and other youngsters.

"He's always been great with his time, even before injuring the elbow," Abbott said.

"He loves getting around the younger guys and talking about cricket. He loves cricket and talking cricket. He'll do it as long as anybody is there to ask him questions.

"He's going very well ... he's champing at the bit to get out on the park."

The Sixers finished the regular season with a miserable 94-run loss to the Melbourne Stars at the MCG, where Glenn Maxwell's spectacular 82 was followed by a shocking Sydney collapse of 10-60.

Stars stun Sixers to secure finals spot

"It wasn't ideal," Abbott said.

"But we'd been playing some really good cricket up until then and we've been pretty good at bouncing back from tough losses."

The absence of Englishman Tom Curran – who has linked up with England's ODI squad in the Caribbean – will force the Sixers to make at least one change.

Abbott is ready to step up at Marvel, where he had claimed 2-16 earlier this summer to help defeat the Renegades.

"I feel like I bowled pretty well down there last time and the wicket suits a couple of the deliveries I bowl," Abbott said.

Ashes 2019

Filed Under

Sydney Sixers Men

KFC BBL|08