New Delhi: Cricket Australia has rejected Australia international Steve Smith’s appeal to play in the BBL knockouts due to a new rule imposed by the board, two weeks ago on replacement of players in the squad due to COVID-19 cases.

“CA introduced a local replacement player pool (LRP) from which all franchises must pick any fill-in had Smith been placed in that pool, he would have been available to any BBL franchise,” a release by cricket.com.au read.

Sixers captain Moises Henriques was disappointed with the rule as Smith is one of the best player in the world and every franchise is read to splash huge sum to have him in the side.

“You have got a former Australian captain, one of the best players in the world. You have got IPL teams who pay multi-million dollars just to have this guy as part of their franchise. Advertising, bums on seats, eyes on TVs I mean, you do the maths,” Henriques said to cricket.com.au.

Henriques also said that the team is at the top without the player and have ample talent to get the job done, but it’s a sad day for cricket for not letting a player of his stature to play.

“And we’re saying no because of a rule that is two weeks old in some COVID bubble hub. To me, I don’t get it.”

“We’re in the top two without him … so I have got absolute belief in our domestic talent and local talent to do the job. I think it’s sad for cricket, that’s all,” Henriques told.