Steve Smith news: Banned former Australian skipper reveals 'dark days'
What's the story?
Erstwhile Australian skipper Steve Smith has reflected on the fallout from the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal. The acclaimed right-hander, who is currently serving a one-year suspension imposed by Cricket Australia, acknowledged the support extended by his family and friends in helping him get through those 'dark days'.
During a candid interaction with media personnel at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Smith conceded, "I’ve had tough days, I’ve had my ups and downs. But I’ve been really fortunate to have a close group of people around me to help me through those difficult times. There have been some dark days where I haven’t wanted to get out of bed and things like that."
The 29-year old added, "But I’ve had a close group of people around me to help me know that it’s okay. I’ve made a mistake and it was a big mistake and I’m trying to move on from that and improve as a person."
While admitting to his role in the highly-publicized ball-tampering scandal during the Cape Town Test in March, Smith had struggled to hide his tears and broke down visibly.
Nearly nine months from that emotional press conference, Smith exuded calmness in front of a large media gathering at the SCG. The Sydney-born cricketer elucidated on his turbulent phase in the aftermath of the infamous incident.
The heart of the matter
With the one-year suspensions of skipper Smith and deputy David Warner eroding the fulcrum of their batting unit, the national team's fortunes nosedived rapidly both on and off the field.
After finishing the Test series in South Africa with an ignominious defeat at Johannesburg, Australia lost all five ODIs and the lone T20I on their tour of England in June. Their trip to the UAE, which began promisingly with a hard-earned draw at Dubai, ended with a 373-run Test loss in Abu Dhabi and a 0-3 reversal in the T20I series against Pakistan.
Smith revealed, "It’s been tough (watching) at times, particularly when the boys haven’t played their best in a couple of games. It’s been hard watching and knowing that I can’t go out and help them."
However, Australia rode on the versatility of their bowling attack to register their first Test victory since the ball-tampering episode. Lavishing praise on Tim Paine's leadership in the 146-run triumph at Perth against India, Smith took pride in the 'magnificent' performance of his estranged teammates.
The 2019 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League was supposed to be Smith's next assignment in the T20 circuit. However, a technicality surrounding his signing has forced the Bangladesh Cricket Board to annul his contract with Comilla Victorians.
Smith will be seen in action during the 2019 edition of the Pakistan Super League. With the ban enforced by Cricket Australia ending on March, it won't be long before the run-machine is back to representing his country at the highest level.