Former Australian skipper Steve Smith has said he is willing to sacrifice his participation in the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE if it can help him remain fit for the Ashes beginning December 8.
Smith had to withdraw from the current white-ball series in the West Indies and Bangladesh due to a left elbow injury, but he is hopeful of recovering in time for the T20 World Cup, scheduled to run from October 17 to November 14.
“There’s still a bit of time between now and (the T20 World Cup), and I’m tracking okay at the moment — it’s slow, but I’m going okay," Smith told cricket.com.au on Friday.
“I’d love to be part of the World Cup, for sure, but from my point of view, Test cricket, that’s my main goal — to be right for the Ashes and try to emulate what I’ve done in the last few Ashes series I’ve been involved in," added Smith.
Australia will look to bag the urn for a third-consecutive series for the first time since 2002-03.
Smith, the world No.2-ranked Test batsman, has so far scored 1,969 runs in 14 matches in the last three series, notching eight centuries.
“I want to put myself in a position where I can have that kind of impact. If that does mean not partaking in the World Cup, then we’ll have to go down that path, but hopefully we don’t have to go there," said Smith.
Smith said his elbow problem began when he changed his batting grip last summer.
“I still wasn’t quite 100 per cent (during the IPL), it was still bothering me a bit, and I was playing over there medicated — taking some painkillers and anti-inflammatories every time I batted. It got to a point where it wasn’t really improving much, and it probably got a little bit worse while I was over there."
Smith, who played six matches for Delhi Capitals before the IPL was suspended on May 4, is currently resting at home and working on his rehab.