Shane Watson stoked at on-field reunion with Steven Smith
Steven Smith will reunite with Shane Watson this weekend. @Getty

Shane Watson is excited at the opportunity to reunite with this 2015 World Cup-winning captain Steven Smith over the weekend, even though the surroundings will be very different to when the two Australian cricketers last played together.

Banned former Australia captain Smith will continue his competitive cricketing journey by turning out for Sutherland in Sydney’s Premier Cricket competition – where he will be skippered by a physical education teacher – on Saturday, and joining him will be Watson who retired from international cricket in 2016.

“It’s obviously sad and disappointing circumstances that I get to play with him, but he’s an awesome guy,” Watson told cricket.com.au. “To be able to play with him it’s the beauty of playing Premier Cricket, you get to play with different people. With Smudge on his comeback trail it’ll be nice to spend some time with him.”

Smith is currently serving a 12-month ban from international cricket for his role in the ball-tampering controversy that erupted in South Africa in March. Barred from playing for his state New South Wales and in the Big Bash League, Smith played in the Global T20 Canada tournament and the CPL over the past few months.

Watson, 37, is hoping that time playing for Sutherland in Premier Cricket will help get him prepared for the upcoming Big Bash League. In four games for the club last season, Watson saw the full spectrum: a score of 186 and then 0 in his last innings.

“Last year I played in Manly, got out for a duck, didn’t have a great game and my son was in the race as I was walking off and he said ‘not again, Dad!’. That stuff you just can’t do in international cricket,” said Watson. “Premier Cricket is pure cricket. People are playing it because they want to give up their weekends, their Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

“They could be working or spending time with their family but they love cricket that much they’re happy to give up their weekends and time to be able to play cricket. I love that. When you turn professional it does become more a job. There are expectations of you. That’s the core of Premier Cricket and what I absolutely love.”