Steve Smith opens up on who was behind Australian ball-tampering scandal

Former Australia captain Steve Smith says he was not involved in planning to tamper with the ball during the Cape Town test against South Africa but took responsibility as a leader for failing to put a stop to it.

Smith, along with vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, was suspended for his part in the ball-tampering incident which shocked the cricket world and torpedoed Australia’s sporting reputation.

Facing Australian media for the first time since his teary apology at a news conference at Sydney airport in March, Smith said he had learned of the plan when he overheard a conversation in the team’s dressing room at Newlands.

Join Independent Minds

For exclusive articles, events and an advertising-free read

Get the best of The Independent

With an Independent Minds subscription

Get the best of The Independent

Without the ads

“I think it’s been documented pretty heavily, sort of, what went on,” he told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“For me in the room, I walked past something and had the opportunity to stop it and I didn’t do it and that was my leadership failure.


2018 sport in quotes





1/23 “You are the liar. You owe me an apology. You stole a point from me. You’re a thief too.”

2/23 “I know I’ll regret this for the rest of my life. I’m absolutely gutted.”

3/23 “It was like wrestling.”

4/23 “I am only missing Firmino saying he got a cold because a drop of my sweat landed on him,”

5/23 “It’s a bit of a hellhole…I’ve just done an interview and all I can smell is urine.”

6/23 “If somebody has done that they need to see a doctor. Seemingly he says it was me – but I would admit it.”

7/23 “It’s the most embarrassing thing I’ve done.”

8/23 “I always dreamed of holding this trophy when I was a young boy.”

9/23 “It’s coming home…”

10/23 “People were talking, English journalists, pundits from television. They underestimated Croatia tonight and that was a huge mistake.”

11/23 “At the moment we all feel the pain of the defeat. The dressing room is a very difficult place at the moment.”

12/23 “It’s going to go on a part that only (my girlfriend) Grace will see.”

13/23 “The issue’s obviously with Jordan (Spieth) not wanting to play with me.”

14/23 “I’ve won more titles alone than the rest of the managers in this league combined.”

15/23 “I just showed the world tonight, and everyone else suffering from mental health, that you can come back and it can be done.”

16/23 “It is like a cow that every day in 10 years, sees the train cross in front at the same time. If you ask the cow, ‘what time is the train going to come’, it is not going to know the right answer.”

17/23 “Give them all the help they need because clearly they cost us two points today. It’s a joke.”

18/23 “Do you know how to twerk?”

19/23 The support from the – Welsh, British flags and … it’s unreal. It’s the Tour de France. To ride around wearing this [yellow jersey] is a dream.”

20/23 “Tonight, I will leave this beautiful country, and I am looking forward to seeing my dogs, Roscoe and Coco, who live in LA. The unconditional love of a pet is something quite special.”

21/23 “To go out on your own terms, with your last ever innings for England a hundred. From a purely selfish point of view, I couldn’t have asked for a better week.”

22/23 “Have you ever taken those pills, the laxatives. I’m going to go through this man.”

23/23 “It’s quite raw at the moment, we’ve got to get back home and reflect on where we go as a side.”

1/23 “You are the liar. You owe me an apology. You stole a point from me. You’re a thief too.”

2/23 “I know I’ll regret this for the rest of my life. I’m absolutely gutted.”

3/23 “It was like wrestling.”

4/23 “I am only missing Firmino saying he got a cold because a drop of my sweat landed on him,”

5/23 “It’s a bit of a hellhole…I’ve just done an interview and all I can smell is urine.”

6/23 “If somebody has done that they need to see a doctor. Seemingly he says it was me – but I would admit it.”

7/23 “It’s the most embarrassing thing I’ve done.”

8/23 “I always dreamed of holding this trophy when I was a young boy.”

9/23 “It’s coming home…”

10/23 “People were talking, English journalists, pundits from television. They underestimated Croatia tonight and that was a huge mistake.”

11/23 “At the moment we all feel the pain of the defeat. The dressing room is a very difficult place at the moment.”

12/23 “It’s going to go on a part that only (my girlfriend) Grace will see.”

13/23 “The issue’s obviously with Jordan (Spieth) not wanting to play with me.”

14/23 “I’ve won more titles alone than the rest of the managers in this league combined.”

15/23 “I just showed the world tonight, and everyone else suffering from mental health, that you can come back and it can be done.”

16/23 “It is like a cow that every day in 10 years, sees the train cross in front at the same time. If you ask the cow, ‘what time is the train going to come’, it is not going to know the right answer.”

17/23 “Give them all the help they need because clearly they cost us two points today. It’s a joke.”

18/23 “Do you know how to twerk?”

19/23 The support from the – Welsh, British flags and … it’s unreal. It’s the Tour de France. To ride around wearing this [yellow jersey] is a dream.”

20/23 “Tonight, I will leave this beautiful country, and I am looking forward to seeing my dogs, Roscoe and Coco, who live in LA. The unconditional love of a pet is something quite special.”

21/23 “To go out on your own terms, with your last ever innings for England a hundred. From a purely selfish point of view, I couldn’t have asked for a better week.”

22/23 “Have you ever taken those pills, the laxatives. I’m going to go through this man.”

23/23 “It’s quite raw at the moment, we’ve got to get back home and reflect on where we go as a side.”

“It was the potential for something to happen and it went on and happened out in the field.

“I had the opportunity to stop it at that point rather than say, ‘I don’t want to know anything about it’ and that was my failure of leadership. And you know I’ve taken responsibility for that.”

Smith declined to name the players involved but reiterated that he had told them, “I don’t want to know about it”, and then walked away.

Smith has kept a low media profile since the scandal, despite playing at Twenty20 tournaments in Canada and the Caribbean, and turning out for his Sydney club side Sutherland.

However, in recent weeks he has made gradual moves to rehabilitate his public image and joined his former Australia team mates at training sessions.

Smith has also tested the waters to see how his brand power has fared in the wake of the incident, linking up with the local arm of Britain’s Vodafone Group to shoot an advertisement which played on his shame and hopes of redemption.

The commercial, and Smith’s involvement in it, was criticised by some media pundits and generated mixed responses on social media.

Smith said he was getting paid for the campaign but also “putting forward” funds from it to Gotcha4Life, a local men’s mental health charity.

The 29-year-old added that it had been tough at times watching Australia play from the sidelines and said he was determined to break back into the one-day side for the May 30-July 14 World Cup and the test team for the Ashes beyond that.

“I’m just moving forward day to day, doing what I need to do to prepare to hopefully get another opportunity to play for Australia and if that’s the World Cup and Ashes, so be it,” Smith told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“No doubt the English crowd will be incredibly hostile. I’m ready for that if that happens.

“I’ll keep working hard and if I get that opportunity again, that’d be great.”

Australia, led by Smith’s replacement as captain Tim Paine, are tied 1-1 in a four-test series with India ahead of the third contest in Melbourne starting on Boxing Day.

Smith and Warner’s bans will be lifted at the end of March, with Bancroft’s expiring on December 29.

Follow the Independent Sport on Instagram here, for all of the best images, videos and stories from around the sporting world.

Source: Read Full Article