March 30, 2021

Interested in captaining Australia again: Steve Smith

Sydney, Mar 30  Steve Smith says he is interested in becoming Australia captain once again if the opportunity comes, asserting that he has learnt to live with the damage caused to his career and reputation by the 2018 ball-tampering scandal.

The 31-year-old Smith served a one-year ban from playing and was disqualified from leading Australia for two years because of his role in the incident in which Australians were caught using sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball against South Africa.

"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'.

The ball-tampering scandal led to a review of the team's win-at-all-cost approach to the game. Smith returned to help Australia win the Ashes in 2019 after his ban ended but has resolutely avoided the subject of captaincy.

"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," he added.

Smith acknowledged that the scandal will forever be attached to his name and he will not let that get in the way of assuming leadership again.

"I'm always going to have to live with Cape Town regardless of whether I lead again or not. It's always there," he said.

"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 (Test captain) Tim (Paine) and Finchy (ODI captain Aaron Finch)."

Paine has been under fire ever since Australia lost a high-stakes Test series to an injury-plagued India earlier this year. Finch, on the other hand, has turned 34.

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