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SportAshes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great

03:45  13 september  2019
03:45  13 september  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great© Getty Images

Long before he rose to become the world's best Test batsman, Steve Smith was all set to become an all-time great of the Grappenhall Cricket Club.

Grappenhall scouted a then-17-year-old Smith, and attempted to secure him for the 2007 season.

However, Grappenhall thought they would show him the local Stockton Heath pub, which saw Smith return home, 'overwhelmed.'

Club secretary, Paul Tyerman, recounted Smith's brief stint with the club to the Warrington Guardian.

“Steve came over and stayed with our then first XI captain Will Sharp," Tyerman said.

“I was still club secretary back then and had a copy of his passport and everything having registered him with the league.

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Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great

“As is tradition with overseas players, a couple of the players took him to the Mulberry Tree in Stockton Heath to meet some of our lads and begin to feel welcome.

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Ashes 2019: How Steve Smith nearly became an England club cricket great
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“Unfortunately, Steve ended up being rather overwhelmed by this as a young lad and ended up going back home feeling ‘under the weather.’

“The next day, Steve didn’t come out of his room, and that remained the case for a couple of days."

Given Smith's recent form against the Poms, Grappenhall can only imagine what could have been if Smith had played with the club, even for a short while.

“We kept an eye on his career back with Sutherland in Australia and then saw him playing state cricket, still as a leg spinner,” Tyerman said.

“He was clearly a promising player back then, but as a leggie and lower-order bat.

“I don’t think anyone could have predicted him going on to become Australia captain and arguably the best batsman in the world.

“Obviously his short stint with Grappers hasn’t held his career back, but it’s disappointing that he wasn’t willing to give it a go in the North West.”

Smith is currently enjoying a successful return to Test cricket, after a 12-month stint on the sidelines.

Despite missing the third Ashes Test with concussion, he's currently averaging 134.2 in this Ashes series, with arguably three of those innings ending due to a need to increase the run rate, rather than any fault on Smith's end.

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Rhodes, Ganguly declare Steve Smith NOT the best batsman in the world.
Steve Smith is not the best. This is surely legally binding, right?

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