Hundred history-maker Will Smeed says he has “aspirations in all three formats” after making a startling impression on cricket’s white-ball game.
The 20-year-old hit an undefeated 101 off just 50 balls during Birmingham Phoenix’s victory over defending champions Southern Brave at Edgbaston.
Not only was it his maiden century, but he also became the first player from either the men’s or women’s competition to hit a century in The Hundred.
It has inevitably led to speculation surrounding a possible England call-up for Somerset batter Smeed, with Jos Buttler’s team facing seven T20 games in Pakistan next month before the World Cup in Australia.
Smeed, who has agreed a contract to play in the United Arab Emirates-hosted International League T20 early next year, will be back in action for the Phoenix against Welsh Fire in Cardiff on Saturday.
“I still have aspirations in all three formats. I very much still want to play everything,” Smeed said. “I don’t really think about the game too much when I am away from cricket.
“For me, it is just another game of cricket and I am trying to do my job for the team every time I am there. The route that has taken so far is a lot of white-ball cricket.
“There is no point looking too far ahead and planning for things you have no control over. For me, it is just about performances, wherever I am playing.”
Asked about possible England recognition, Smeed added: “I don’t really think about that. You can’t control that, it is not in your hands, there is no point thinking about it.
“My mindset is of trying to do my job for the team in every game. If I do that well, then who knows?
“For me, I feel like there are a lot of people still better than me in England. I am just trying to do well in this competition.
“Everyone wants to play for their country, but I don’t think that has any impact on how I play games, if that makes sense.
“I am not playing these tournaments to play for England. I am playing these tournaments to do well and improve at cricket. Hopefully, one day, that leads to me playing for England.”
If Smeed continues his rapid rate of progress, then there can be little doubt that the lucrative Indian Premier League could soon move on to his radar.
“I am not going there (UAE) and seeing it as a route into the IPL. Any cricket I am playing, I am just trying to do well,” he said.
“Every franchise competition is a great learning opportunity. You are surrounded by world-class players, and you would be silly not to try and learn off them.
“The majority of my development has taken place at Somerset, and they don’t sometimes get the credit they deserve.
“The batting talent in this competition (Hundred) is ridiculous. The grounds are generally quite small and the wickets very flat, so I am sure I won’t be the last one to do it (score a century).
“The opportunities I am fortunate to have at the moment, I would be silly to turn them down. Being around the best white-ball players in the world will also help my red-ball cricket.”