Smith looking to revive WI career
Dwayne Smith is aiming to resuscitate his West Indies career after being named the Most Valuable Player in the Nagico Super50. Smith followed up his Mumbai Indians double-haul of the 2013 IPL and Champions League T20 titles, with a man-of-the-match performance against Trinidad and Tobago in the final.
He professed his excitement by following up on his MVP award in the CLT20 and hoped that these back-to-back personal accolades would kickstart his career once more. "It feels very good to play a good innings and to go on to continue to win the finals. And now I'm here holding the trophy. I won it the first time I played (for Barbados) in 2003 but it's the result of working hard throughout the entire series," Smith told ESPNcricinfo. "Now I'm excited to link up with the West Indies team again. I worked myself very hard to get back into the team."
Smith has been recalled for the two T20s versus Ireland but omitted from the ODI roster. He said that he hoped his performances against the Irish would propel him into West Indies' limited-overs squad for the home series against England, as the team prepare to defend their World T20 title in Bangladesh.
Smith finished as the Super50's top batsman with 232 runs at an average of 58, and credited his opening role with the Mumbai Indians as a crucial element to his resurgence. He admitted the IPL gave him stability in his role as an opener after floating around between the top three spots. "I'm enjoying the role as opener once more. It's a position I get to play and score freely. I showed it in the IPL and in the Champions League.
"The selectors and coaches who backed me for this position, I'm repaying them. Also, for Mumbai, I got to bowl more than expected. I'm always willing and up to do the best job I can, as an all-rounder."
With Chennai Super Kings snapping him up for the 2014 IPL, Smith said that he was excited to test new pastures, especially as he feels at 30, he needs to be maximizing on his playing opportunities.
"Mumbai was quite an experience. The Champions League was too. But The MVP title was one of the biggest highlights ever. Now, it's onto newer things and I'm looking forward."
Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here