By Graham Hardcastle
Tim Bresnan has revealed how Steve Smith once badgered him to help secure a contract at Yorkshire, but was given the knock back in typical ‘Brezzy’ fashion.
Smith, aged 16, made his first-grade debut for Sutherland in the winter of 2005/2006 when the White Rose all-rounder was spending his winter with the same club on the outskirts of Sydney.
On Thursday, Smith is hoping to grace the Emerald Headingley turf, for the third time, for Australia in the third Ashes Test.
The Aussie linchpin is currently a doubt as he recovers from concussion having been struck on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the first innings of the draw at Lord’s on Saturday.
“He didn’t really say a lot,” recalled Bresnan. “He was just a typical young kid really.
“He was definitely very talented, but he didn’t play the way he does now. That’s obviously come from the experiences he’s had and how he’s figured his own game out.
“You could see he thought about the game immensely, otherwise he wouldn’t have scored the volume of runs he did at a young age. He had come through the grades.
“He’d scored a few in second grade and got in because one of the lads, as they do at that level, had just gone on holiday or whatever.
“He came in, got 70-odd and was difficult to dislodge. He played for the rest of the season.
“He was predominantly a leg-spinner. That’s how he made his way into the game and the Test team.
“He said, ‘Hey, can I come and play for Yorkshire?’.
“I was like, ‘Woah, hold your horses big lad. We’re full up and you’re not that good yet. Just grab yourself a couple of bats out of my kit bag and score some runs’.
“You could definitely tell he would do alright as a cricketer. But no way could you say that he’d score with the consistency he is doing at the moment.”