Smith to prepare for Ashes with stint at English county

HOVE, England (AP) — Australia batter Steve Smith will prepare for this year's Ashes series in England by playing three matches for English team Sussex in the four-day County Championship.

Smith's short-term deal will see him play three matches in May ahead of the Ashes, which starts with the first test at Edgbaston on June 16.

Australia could also feature in the World Test Championship final at the start of June at the Oval in London.

In the last Ashes series in England — in 2019 — Smith scored 774 runs and averaged 110.57.

“To have arguably the world’s best batter play for Sussex just before an eagerly awaited Ashes test series is great for us and the County Championship," Sussex CEO Rob Andrew said Thursday.

Smith, test cricket's No. 2-ranked batter, said he was "particularly looking forward to working with the younger players in the squad and hoping I can provide some guidance to them.”

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