Steve Smith has opened up on his “dark days” that followed the infamous ball-tampering scandal in March earlier this year in South Africa. Steve Smith, who suffered a 12-month ban from Cricket Australia, said that there were times when he didn’t want to get out of bed after the ball-tampering saga in Newlands. “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. But I’ve had a close group of people around me to help me know that it’s OK,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia.
Steve Smith addressing the media and says it’s been tough at times watching the Australian team, but was proud of the side after the win in Perth pic.twitter.com/xCJ3EKzeam
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 21, 2018
Drifting back in time, Steve Smith said that he is trying to move on from the mistake he made. “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,” he said.
Speaking about Australia’s series-levelling win in Perth against India, Smith said Tim Paine has been exceptional as captain. “But I was really proud of the way the boys played last week in Perth.
“I thought they were magnificent and I think Tim Paine’s leadership has been exceptional since taking over as captain. 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. But I was really proud of the way the boys played last week in Perth,” he said.
While serving his ban, Smith has participated in several T20 competitions, including in Canada and the Caribbean, in a bid to get play time. The IPL is scheduled to be held in April-May followed by the World Cup in England starting May 30. The 29-year-old plays for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. Although Smith stepped down from captaincy in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal, he continues to be a part of the franchise.
“I was playing in the Bangladesh League, but I don’t know what is happening there at the moment. After that I have the Pakistan League and then the IPL, which I think is adequate preparation for the World Cup, if I’m selected,” Smith said.
On what transpired in the dressing room during the infamous Newlands Test, Smith said it was a failure of leadership on his part. “In the room I walked past something and had the opportunity to stop it and I didn’t do it. It went out and happened on the field,” he recalled. “I had the opportunity to stop it rather than say I didn’t want to know anything about it. That was my failure of leadership for that and I have taken responsibility for that,” he said. Smith was also asked about his thoughts on the ongoing India-Australia series. The batsman said it hasn’t been easy to watch from the sidelines.
Australia and India square off in the next Test on December 26 in Melbourne, where both the sides will look forward to taking a lead in the series, which is currently level at 1-1.