Steve Smith was removed from Australia’s Test captaincy in 2018.© AFP
Three years since the Sandpaper-gate scandal, Steve Smith has expressed his willingness to lead the Australian cricket team once again. Smith, who was banned along with two other players for ball-tampering, said that he is ready for a second chance to captain his country. Smith was handed a one-year ban followed by a two-year ban on captaining the national team, for his role in Cape Town in March 2018. “I’ve certainly had a lot of time to think about it and I guess now I’ve got to a point where if the opportunity did come up again, I would be keen,” Smith told News Corp.
“If it was what Cricket Australia wanted and it was what was best for the team at the time, it’s certainly something I would be interested in now, that’s for sure.”
After the incident, Australia’s Test captaincy was handed over to wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine, who was on the receiving end of criticism during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
“I’m always going to have to live with Cape Town regardless of whether I lead again or not. It’s always there. I’ve been through all that now. Time keeps moving forward, and I’ve learnt so much the last few years about myself and grown as a human being. I feel as though I’d be in a better place if the opportunity did come up,” Smith added.
“If it doesn’t, that’s fine as well and I’d support whoever is in charge the same way I’ve supported Tim (Paine) and Finchy (Aaron Finch). I haven’t always felt like I wanted to do it again. That’s only come in the last little bit,” he also added.
During the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera trying to change the condition of the ball using a sandpaper. While Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban, Smith and Warner, who held their leadership role in the side back then, were slapped with a 12-month ban.
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