County news June 27, 2008

Dwayne Smith sets sights on England

Cricinfo staff

Dwayne Smith hopes to swap the maroon of West Indies to blue and red of England © Getty Images
Dwayne Smith, the West Indies allrounder, has turned his back on the Caribbean after signing a two-and-a-half year Kolpak deal with Sussex and is aiming to qualify for England.

Smith, 25, initially joined Sussex on a short-term deal for the Twenty20 Cup but has impressed during his stint at Hove. His stand-out performance was 72 off 27 balls against Hampshire.

"We are delighted to have Dwayne on board as he has fitted into the dressing room really well over the last couple of weeks," said Mark Robinson, the Sussex cricket manager. "Dwayne is the type of cricketer you would pay to come and see as he hits a long ball and bowls well. He is also one of the best fielders in the world. I'm sure the Sussex public will have a lot of pleasure watching his exploits in the next couple of years."

Smith, who struck a century on his Test debut against South Africa, has played 10 Tests and 71 ODIs for West Indies, but his ODI batting overage of 14 shows he has never fulfilled his ability. His last international appearance came against Ireland, in Dublin, last July at the end of West Indies' tour.

He was a late signing in the Indian Premier League when he joined Mumbai Indians having been overlooked for the series against Sri Lanka. Smith will primarily play one-day cricket for Sussex this year but will play a bigger role in both formats next summer.

Unlike the volume of Kolpak players from South Africa giving up their international careers, there was been a more limited flow from West Indies. Smith follows Wavell Hinds (Derbyshire), Pedro Collins (Surrey), Omari Banks (Somerset) and Jermaine Lawson (Leicestershire).