Former captain and Australia’s talisman batsman, Steve Smith says he is ready to lead his country again if presented with an opportunity. The Sydney-born was scrapped of his captaincy in the aftermath of the ‘Sandpaper Gate’ scandal in Cape Town in March 2018.
Year-long bans were handed to Steve Smith and David Warner, and 9 months for Cameron Bancroft. Smith was given an extra year of suspension from captaincy. Tim Paine was made the Test captain in haste, and Aaron Finch for limited-overs cricket, while Justin Langer replaced Darren Lehmann as the coach.
However, Steve Smith made his return to international cricket in 2019 and helped Australia retain the Ashes in England for the first time in 18 years. With Australia losing the home Test series to an injury-riddled Team India, there have been calls for Tim Paine,36, to be dropped as a captain.
Smith says that he has pondered about it for a long time and is ‘interested’ in leading the side again if asked to.
“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. 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,” the 31-year-old told News Corp.
I’m always going to have to live with Cape Town: Steve Smith
He talks about the fateful incident in Cape Town three years ago. The right-hander asserts that while he has learned a lot from that and is in a better place mentally, but he has to live with it forever.
“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. If it doesn’t, that’s fine as well and I’d support whoever is in charge the same way I’ve supported Tim and Finchy,” Smith concluded.