Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Sydney Sixers on Friday announced the signing of Steve Smith for the upcoming season of the Twenty20 league.

The Australian right-handed batsman was a member of the inaugural Sixers squad and went on to spend three seasons at the club, including their triumphant BBL|01 campaign.

“I am excited about getting an opportunity to play for the Sydney Sixers again. When the schedule came out and I saw there was a chance to wear the Magenta again I jumped at the opportunity and look forward to joining up with the team after my January national team commitments have ended,” said Smith in an official statement.

Smith’s availability for the upcoming edition though is subject to his selection in the Australian ODI squad for the series against India.

Smith’s return to the BBL franchise is slated for the last two or three games in the league stage and final leg of the tournament after the Australian team returns from the subcontinent.

Smith, one of the finest batsmen in the game and currently the number one batsmen in the ICC Test Rankings, replaced the wicketkeeper-batsman Peter Nevill in the Sixers squad.

Smith, during his 20-match stint with the Sixers has 499 runs against his name at an average of 31.18. He also has six wickets against his name while playing for the side.

Sixers head coach Greg Shipperd said that Smith’s presence will benefit the players in the team.

“While I know the fans will and should be excited by this development, our players will benefit from his skills, support and perspectives on the game,” said Shipperd.

“Steve was instrumental in our recruitment of Josh Philippe and Josh, along with other youngsters in our squad like Jack Edwards, Lloyd Pope, Tom Curran and Justin Avendano, will be the better for sharing a dressing room with an Australian great,” he added.

BBL will kick off on December 17 and Sydney Sixers will play their first match against Perth Scorchers on December 18.