Smith rubbishes claims he picks his mates

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Australia captain Steve Smith has hit back at claims that he exercises too much influence on the selection panel.

Smith is not part of Trevor Hohns’ three man national selection panel but as skipper is consulted during the process of picking the Test and ODI teams.

Some sectors of the cricket fraternity have suggested that Smith uses his influence to get his friends and favourites into the squad.

Smith responded to those claims in Sydney on Friday saying: “I’m not a selector, but I certainly speak to the selectors a lot and express my views.

“All this rubbish about me picking my mates, it’s absolute garbage. I certainly don’t agree with that.”

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Former Australia fast bowler Rodney Hogg was one of those accusing Smith of picking his friends for the Test team.

Hogg told SEN Radio: “Smith shouldn’t be a selector.

“We saw Maddinson get selected, (he’s) a mate, he’s one of Steve Smith’s mates. You can’t pick bloody mates.

“I think the captain’s getting his own way.”

Smith said that while he takes in what people write about him he doesn’t let it effect him.

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He added: “People can say what they like.

“I’ll read it, but it doesn’t bother me. I’ll just get on with it.”

The Test XI for the first Ashes clash is far from settled yet with two rounds of Sheffield Shield cricket still to be played before England and Australia meet in Brisbane on November 23.