Steven Smith to have ankle surgery
Australia allrounder Steven Smith will not be taking up his IPL duties with Kochi Tuskers Kerala after it was decided he should fly home to undergo ankle surgery. Smith has experienced left ankle pain through the Australian summer, and will now have the problem dealt with, to be fit in time for Australia's pre-season camp in July and the tours of Sri Lanka and South Africa that follow.
"Steve has had long-standing, minor pain in his left ankle during the Australian summer," team physio Alex Kountouris said. "This is considered an opportune time to have surgery on the ankle. It will take place next week so he can adequately prepare for the upcoming Australia season."
Smith's withdrawal is a blow for Kochi, one of the IPL's new franchises, who are winless after two matches. While doing little with the bat, Smith showed considerable promise with the ball in the just-concluded series against Bangladesh, delivering a remarkable sharp legbreak that ripped between bat and pad to castle Shakib Al Hasan.
"I'm pretty happy with the way I'm going. I feel good in everything I'm doing in the nets and in games," Smith said during the series. "Every time I'm bowling in a game it's going to help me, every time I get that opportunity. So at the moment that's pretty much what it's about for me, gaining control in games under pressure."
Smith was scheduled to join Kochi with team-mate John Hastings, as a host of other players including Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, Brett Lee and Shakib Al Hasan, make their way to various IPL franchises following Australia's 3-0 victory over Bangladesh in the limited-overs series that finished on Wednesday.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo