Reluctant Smith accepts donations

Stand-in Australian cricket captain Steve Smith has thanked several organisations who transferred undisclosed but reportedly large amounts of money into his bank account overnight but added “It was totally unnecessary as I would not have enforced the follow-on anyway”.

The Bug has been told the money has come, very gratefully, from the SAMPHD&SRVA and brewing giant Lion.

In his 35th Test as captain following the withdrawal of new skipper Pat Cummins after a COVID scare, Smith late on the third day of the day-night, pink-ball Test did not enforce the follow-on despite a tired and dispirited England still being 237 runs behind Australia’s massive first innings total of 473 and facing the prospect of a big collapse last night under the Adelaide Oval lights.

So it’s perhaps understandable that the South Australian Meat Pie, Hot Dog and Sausage Roll Vendors Association and the brewery with pouring rights at the ground were chuffed with Smith’s decision, which will extend the game most likely into a fifth day even against a pitiful England lineup.

But as Smith told The Bug exclusively in a video hookup this morning: “I would have batted again even if we’d been 400 ahead and both Pat (Cummins) and Josh [Hazlewood] had been fit and playing.

“So while the money’s appreciated it wasn’t necessary at all,” Smith said as he used exaggerated hand movements and quirky facial expressions to indicate the amount of money involved.

“This has been going on all around the world since I first captained the side back in the 2016-17 series against South Africa.

“I’ve got no idea how similar fast food and beverage organisations at Test grounds around the cricket-playing world first got hold of my bank details.”

The Bug has also been told that even despite Smith’s decision and even if the Test lasts well into the fifth day, a considerable amount of West End and Southwark beer, now brewed at Lion’s Toohey’s and XXXX plants in Sydney and Queensland following the closure of the West End Brewery in the South Australian capital several years ago, will still be left unconsumed, which is entirely understandable under the circumstances.