Right before the World Cup, we caught up with Steve Smith in London. After a good season with Rajasthan Royals, our captain played some amazing knocks for Australia during their warm-up games against New Zealand and in the World Cup warm-up matches. His last 5 scores in List A cricket read; 116, 76, 91*, 89* and 22. We asked Smudge some questions around his stint with Rajasthan Royals and the World Cup. While he is smashing the ball around on the field, Smith timed all the answers to perfection as well. What happened this year? “We weren’t able to get over the line in the close games. It’s always make-or-break, but this season it broke us. You’ve got to win the close ones to get your points up.” How would you rate the current squad of players? “They are a terrific squad with bright futures. There’s a good balance and mix of players.” You were an already established player, but what do you think the Vivo IPL has done for cricket? “Indians are very passionate about the game – every game is packed. It’s a terrific tournament to be involved in because you get to play with and against the best players in the world. I try to learn things along the way and it’s been a terrific learning experience over the past 6 years.” Best players in world cricket to hang out with after a game? “Stokesy and Warne” Best cricketing moment? “Winning the World Cup in 2015 in Melbourne. It was a packed house of 90,000 people – the noise and atmosphere were incredible – I’ll never forget it.” Funniest member of the team? “Shreyas Gopal – he’s a cheeky guy” How do we get more young people to games? “T20 has changed the landscape and the audience, making the game more accessible to a wider range of people who may not necessarily want to sit and watch a Test match. They have the 100-ball game starting next year too, which is another really innovative format.” You had a year out of cricket – what was the best part of that? “6 men and 2 women take their lives every day in Australia which is a shocking and staggering statistic. To try and help change this, I’ve been going out to schools in Australia to talk to people, encourage them to show emotions and talk about what’s on their mind. Sharing my story about what’s gone on this past year was therapeutic but also helping to make a difference” Who will win the World Cup and what do you expect? “Australia! It will be an incredible tournament – I could see scores getting up to 500+” Ashes prediction? “Australia.” Smith was on point with all his answers. He is in good form heading into the World Cup for Australia. That is great news as he prepares to play international cricket for Australia after over a year. We wish Smith all the luck for the World Cup
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