Indian Premier League 2012 March 8, 2012

Steven Smith to join Pune Warriors

Pune Warriors are set to add Australia allrounder Steven Smith to their squad for the 2012 IPL. Smith will be the fourth* international to be signed by the franchise since they sorted out their differences with the BCCI after boycotting the February 4 auction. He joins fellow Australia allrounder James Hopes, England allrounder Luke Wright and West Indies allrounder Marlon Samuels. The deal is said to be almost through, pending a formal signing.

Smith was bought by the now terminated Kochi Tuskers Kerala franchise last year, but missed the season after he injured his ankle and needed surgery. He was one of the Kochi players included in the player auction, but went unsold.

"Delighted to be joining the Pune Warriors for the IPL this year," Smith said on Twitter. "Very excited!!"

In the recently concluded Big Bash League, Smith made 166 runs at an average of 23.71 and a strike-rate of 130.70 for the Sydney Sixers. He also took six wickets at 21.50 with an economy-rate of 8.06.

Warriors have now filled all their overseas spots. The team is also still looking for a replacement for Yuvraj Singh, who is undergoing treatment for cancer and will miss the IPL. It is understood that Warriors might like to observe some players during the ongoing MiWAY T20 Challenge in South Africa, which ends on March 30.

*March 8, 2012 14:30GMT: This story has been updated to reflect that Pune Warriors have also signed England's Luke Wright

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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  • srujan on March 10, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    If they r going 4 another foreign player as replacement 4 yuvraj singh , i think CHRIS MORRIS (lions,MIWAYT20, 8 matches) will match him as an perfect allrounder. He scored 82 runs in 4 innings ( 4 notout's) with strike rate of 232.43 and took 14 wickets in 8 matches with an impressive average of 14.50

  • Hritam on March 9, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    Pune had fairly good buys for IPL 5 and now have a team capable of perhaps finishing in the top 4 of the group stage. Wright, Smith, Hopes, Samuels, all were fairly good buys. I think that they should have brought either anyone of Nicol, Brendan Taylor or Kevin O'Brien when any other team had not brought them. Anyway, Pune is looking for a replacement for Yuvraj in the MiWay T20? There are hardly any Indian players there and all of Pune's overseas slots are filled. If they still insist on buying some foreign player from that T20, I think they should buy Stiaan van Zyl. Playing for Cape Cobras, he is the highest run-getter (7 matches, 350 runs, Highest 86*, Average 58.33, SR 156.25) and they should also buy Quinton de Kock. In case, Uthappa is not keeping properly or there are shortage of keepers, he can be immensely valuable. He is a brilliant talent and this will be the right platform to showcase his talent.

  • Priyashrav on March 8, 2012, 14:17 GMT

    I think every team will permit Pune to field 5 overseas players provided they make a promise that Steven Smith will always be among the five foreigners to play in the team! I hate to make fun of a young budding cricketer but just couldn't resist making a quip at his expense! I do hope that he proves me wrong though..........

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