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Smith targets home series against England
Hard hitting opening batsman Dwayne Smith says he plans to continue his prolific run in the T20 series against Ireland in an effort to force his way onto the West Indies limited over squad for the home series against England. Smith outlined his goal after winning the Most Valuable Player in the NAGICO Super50 tournament which ended in Trinidad over the weekend. The Barbadian batsman has been recalled for the two T20s against Ireland but omitted from the One Day International side. “Now I’m excited to link up with the West Indies team again,” said Smith, after leading Barbados to a 17 run win over Trinidad and Tobago in the finals of the Nagico Super50 tournament. “I worked myself very hard to get back into the team.” Smith said in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.
Smith’s MVP award in the Nagico Super50 follows sterling performances for his former Indian Premier League (IPL) team, Mumbai Indians last year. He was named man-of-the-series for leading Mumbai to championship honours in the IPL and player of the final for his role in Mumbai’s Champions League T20 victory. Smith finished as the Super50’s top batsman with 232 runs at an average of 58, and credited his opening role with the Mumbai Indians as crucial to his resurgence. “It feels very good to play a good innings and to go on to continue to win the finals,” said Smith, who hit 83 off 77 balls to give Barbados a good start in the finals and who also scored 83 in his first game in the tournament against T&T in the group stage which Barbados also won. “And now I’m here holding the trophy. I won it the first time I played (for Barbados) in 2003 but it’s the result of working hard throughout the entire series”. The aggressive opener, who has been snapped up by Chennai Super Kings for the 2014 IPL, has admitted that the IPL gave him stability in his role as an opener after floating around between the top three spots. “I’m enjoying the role as opener once more. It’s a position I get to play and score freely. I showed it in the IPL and in the Champions League,” he said. “The selectors and coaches who backed me for this position, I’m repaying them”.