Former Australia captain, Steve Smith said that with passage of time and the amount of support he received from his family and fans has helped him to “come to terms with everything” in the aftermath of the ball tampering scandal which saw him being banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia (CA).
The middle-order batsman posted a picture with his fiancee Dani Willis on Instagram and shared a message thanking people for their support.
He said: “The amount of emails and letters I have received has been incredible and I have been extremely humbled by the enormous amount of support you have given me. I now have a lot to do to earn back your trust. To my Mum, Dad and Dani, you have been my rock through this and I can’t thank you enough. Family is the most important thing in the world and I thank you for your love and support.”
During the Cape Town Test versus South Africa, Cameron Bancroft was caught rubbing the ball with sandpaper in an attempt to produce reverse swing. Smith and David Warner’s roles also came under heavy scrutiny after it emerged that they were part of the ‘leadership group’, which was involved in the ploy to alter the condition of the ball to aid reverse swing.
The ICC subsequently suspended Smith for one Test and fined 100 per cent of his match fee. Meanwhile, Bancroft was slapped with a fine of 75 per cent and earned three demerit points.
Back home, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked CA to act “decisively and emphatically” discipline those who were involved in the incident. In a strongly-worded speech, he also termed the ball-tampering incident a “disgrace”.
Eventually, CA set up an internal enquiry into the incident, with Smith and Warner being banned for a period of 12 months. Meanwhile, Bancroft was banned for nine months.
Smith and Warner will be available to represent Australia in April 2019, while Bancroft’s ban will end by January 2019.