Steve Smith admits to 'dark days' after ball tampering ban

Updated: Dec 22, 2018, 12:16 IST | PA Sport | Sydney

Cameron Bancroft's attempt to manipulate the ball with what was later revealed to be sandpaper was a plan orchestrated, according to a Cricket Australia investigation, by vice-captain David Warner

Steven Smith addresses the media in Sydney yesterday. Pic/AFP
Steven Smith addresses the media in Sydney yesterday. Pic/AFP

Former Australia captain Steve Smith admitted there have been some "dark days" following the notorious ball tampering scandal in South Africa that saw him handed a one-year ban.

Cameron Bancroft's attempt to manipulate the ball with what was later revealed to be sandpaper was a plan orchestrated, according to a Cricket Australia investigation, by vice-captain David Warner. Smith was found to have known about the plan midway through the third Test against the Proteas at Cape Town in March but failed to prevent it and, as such, all three players received lengthy suspensions.

Speaking to the media for the first time since a tearful press conference on his return to Australia in the aftermath of the controversy, Smith opened up on a range of issues.

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He said in quotes on the Cricket Australia's website: "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. "There have been some dark days where I haven't wanted to get out of bed and things like that. "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." Smith's ban applies to international and domestic cricket but he has featured in T20 leagues in Canada and the Caribbean.

He will be available for Australia's World Cup and Ashes campaigns in England next year and, if selected, he expects a hostile response from the English crowds. "Hopefully [I will] get another opportunity to play for Australia," he said. "And if that's in a World Cup and Ashes, so be it."

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