It was the scandal that rocked the nation, but Steve Smith has revealed to News Corp he wants to captain Australia again.
Smith, 31, was banned from playing international cricket for 12 months and made ineligible from holding a leadership position with the national team for two years following the Cape Town ball-tampering affair in March 2018.
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He announced his return to the Test team 18 months later by scoring twin centuries to guide Australia to victory in the first Ashes Test to put Tim Paine’s men on course to win the urn for the first time in 18 years.
But ever since his emotional homecoming to Sydney International Airport, Smith has stayed quiet on his leadership ambitions. Until now.
“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.”
Sheffield Shield: Tasmania romped to a 298-run victory against New South Wales inside of the three days thanks to a dominant display with the ball….
Sheffield Shield: Tasmania romped to a 298-run victory against New South Wales inside of the three days thanks to a dominant display with the ball.
In the star batsman’s absence wicket-keeper Tim Paine alongside coach Justin Langer, who took over from Darren Lehmann, formed the new leadership group.
But following Australia’s series defeat to an injury-ravaged Indian side at home, the leadership is once again on the agenda.
With Paine 36, and white-ball skipper Aaron Finch now 34, the question of who will next captain Australia in all three formats is squarely on the agenda.
Vice-captain Pat Cummins has recently started leading NSW in one-dayers, but hasn’t yet captained his state in the Sheffield Shield.
It’s often been said that fast bowlers shouldn’t captain because of the workload and where they often field, but in a recent interview with foxsports.com.au Cummins said the extra responsibilities had in fact helped engage him.
“I feel like I’ve stayed more engaged and really trying to work with the other guys to see how we can take wickets and, so far, I feel like that’s helped me, if anything, rather than hindered,” Cummins said.
Paine hasn’t indicated that he will relinquish the responsibilities and no decision in the captaincy is likely soon.
Australia has little international cricket scheduled for this year, with no Tests until the home summer which features a historic Test against Afghanistan as well as the Ashes.
Cricket: Ben Stokes was on for an epic century in game two against India but had to settle for 99 off 52 balls….
Cricket: Ben Stokes was on for an epic century in game two against India but had to settle for 99 off 52 balls.
Smith added that the infamous sandpaper scandal would always stay with him, but said he had grown from the experience.
“I’m always going to have to live with Cape Town regardless of whether I lead again or not. It’s always there,” he told News Corp.
“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.”
Cricket: Indian superstar Virat Kohli was let dumbfounded when he was bowled for just 7 by a ripping delivery from Moeen Ali….
Cricket: Indian superstar Virat Kohli was let dumbfounded when he was bowled for just 7 by a ripping delivery from Moeen Ali.
The classy batsman’s comments come ahead of his return to the domestic game.
Smith hasn’t played since the middle of February because of an elbow injury.
He will play for NSW in their home match against Queensland on Wednesday, where the Blues can seal a home final on April 11 with victory.
“Steve worked really hard to get back fit and to add someone of his class is a major boost and we are looking forward to him hopefully playing his best cricket,” Blues coach Phil Jaques said.
He is joined by fellow returning internationals Josh Hazlewood, Daniel Sams and Mitchell Starc – the star quartet replacing Nick Larkin, Liam Hatcher, Harry Conway and the injured Sean Abbott in the squad.
NSW Blues One-Day Cup squad, Round 5 v. Queensland, North Sydney Oval, Wednesday March 31 D/N (1400 AEDT):
Pat Cummins (c), Oliver Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Matthew Gilkes, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner
Originally published asSmith begins campaign for captaincy
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