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Graeme Smith doesn't rule out international return ahead of MCL

Graeme Smith will be leading Virgo Super Kings in the Masters Champions League 2016.
Graeme Smith will be leading Virgo Super Kings in the Masters Champions League 2016.

Former South African captain Graeme Smith revealed that he has not ruled out an international return ahead of the Masters Champions League (MCL).

In December 2015, Smith stated that he was thinking about coming out of retirement and playing international cricket for South Africa.

Prior to the start of the MCL, Smith reiterated his earlier stance and stated that he will first look at how he progresses in the tournament before taking a final call over his international comeback.

“I was waiting for that question but I didn’t really prepare an answer to that question," he said.

“I guess my answer hasn’t changed.

“I’m obviously happy with where I am in life but if the tournament does go well and if I do enjoy it again and if I feel like I can play then I will consider it.

“But, I think, right now, that it will be a brave answer for me to say yes.” 

Smith will be leading the Virgo Super Kings in the MCL with the likes of Jonty Rhodes, Brett Lee, Neil McKenzie and Azhar Mahmood in the line-up.

The 34-year-old left handed batsman stated that Virgo Super Kings have a good team composition but the challenge will be to strike form early in the tournament.

“I’m excited about the challenge and obviously looking forward to playing again, I think all of us are.

“I think we've got a nice composition and certainly on the bowling side, we have enough spin options, we got some good pace bowling options, couple of all-rounders or so.

“I think probably the challenge is going to be to post good totals and hopefully our batters will find some form early on in the tournament.” 

Smith has played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Rajasthan Royals and later on for the Pune Warriors while he also captained Surrey in the NatWest Twenty20 Blast in 2014.

When asked to compare the MCL to the other leagues like the IPL, Smith cited that it was difficult to draw parallels as the tournament is yet to get underway.

“It is very difficult to compare now, as we are still in the build-up phase,” Smith said.

“Seeing all the other players, there is a lot of excitement and the players want to perform well.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play in a lot of those other leagues and I’m looking forward to playing in this one.

“It is an opportunity for all of us to get back in and play some good cricket.”

Backing his players to perform well in the tournament, Smith has set his primary goal to take his team through to the semi-finals.

“Obviously, I’m going to back my guys.

“It is always difficult to know how you are going to go but we obviously want to do well.

“I guess the objective is to get into the semi-final.

“That’s the main objective and then see it on from there.”

In their first game on 29th January in Dubai, Smith's Virgo Super Kings will take on the Sagittarius Strikers, who will be led by former Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist.

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