Former Australia cricketer Shane Lee is concerned about Steve Smith’s angry demeanor of late and wants Cricket Australia to take swift action to avoid further controversy.
Steve Smith got into trouble after he was captured scuffing up the area around the batting crease on the final day of the Sydney Test when Rishabh Pant was batting.
Speaking to Fox Cricket, Lee said:
"He was not trying to cheat, but he should not be on the wicket. I am really, really concerned about some of our behaviour. Steve Smith scored a fantastic hundred in Sydney and the way he reacted afterwards, I thought, there is a real anger there.”
He went to the extent of comparing the signs to the ones seen before the ball-tampering controversy in South Africa. Lee said:
"It is disturbing...I'm seeing the same signs as before Sandpapergate. I am seeing someone like Smith who is getting really, really angry."
According to Lee, Steve Smith’s case needs to be looked at from the mental health perspective. He further added:
"I am feeling really worried about this guy (Smith). I really want Cricket Australia, or someone within that organisation, to make sure this guy's all right, because he's a champion batsman and he's not a cheat.”
Steve Smith was named Man of the Match for his 131 and 81 at the SCG. However, his sportsmanship was questioned over his 'scuffing up' act as India defied the odds to draw the Test.
Steve Smith defends himself over scuffing controversy
Defending himself against accusations that he tried to erase Rishabh Pant’s guard, Steve Smith explained that it is something he often does as a part of his visualization process. Steve Smith told News Corp:
“It’s something I do in games to visualise where we are bowling, how the batter is playing our bowlers, and then out of habit I always mark centre. It’s such a shame that this and other events have taken away from what was a great batting performance by India yesterday.”
Australian captain Tim Paine also defended Steve Smith stating that it was one of his quirks, and there was nothing more to it.
Although a modern-day run-machine, Steve Smith has a scarred legacy. He, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft were banned for a year for their involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal in 2018.
Smith remains crucial to Australia’s chances as they head into The Gabba Test with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy level 1-1.Published 13 Jan 2021, 14:42 IST