Smith pulls out, again
SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):
West Indies opener Dwayne Smith has pulled out of the Big Bash League for the second consecutive season, again citing personal problems.
The aggressive Barbadian batsman was Sydney Sixers' big signing for the season, but his absence is a major blow to their batting order.
Smith was signed by Perth Scorchers last season, but failed to make his scheduled flight to Australia for personal reasons.
"While we were aware of Dwayne's personal issues, we received assurances from his management that he would be available for this season with the Sixers," said the club's general manager Dom Remond.
"Unfortunately, Dwayne has had a relapse of his condition and that means he is unable to join us, and we wish him the best with his recovery."
Smith's late withdrawal last season left the Scorchers with no time to replace him.
Sixers has managed to secure the last-minute signing of Riki Wessels, son of former Australia and South Africa captain Kepler Wessels.
Wessels, 29, who plays county cricket in England, is a highly regarded batsman-wicketkeeper with 118 T20s and a highest score of 95 not out.