Steve Smith held a press conference at his home ground to speak about his time away from international cricket. The banned Australian captain revealed the mental turmoil in the aftermath of Newlands. He spoke about his personal state of mind and its resulting downward and finally improving trajectory. He admitted his fault in preventing the disgraceful act of deliberately planned ball tampering and acknowledged his ‘leadership failure.’
Smith revealed when he came to know about David Warner and Cameron Bancroft’s plan to alter the state of the ball with use of sandpaper, all he did was say, “I don’t want to know about it,” and walked away from the scene of the transgression. Admitting his folly, he said today, “That was my chance where I could have stopped something from happening.
“For me in the room I walked past something and had the opportunity to stop it and I didn’t do it. That was my leadership failure. Something happened out on the field and I had the opportunity to stop it at that point rather than say I don’t want to know anything about it, that was my failure and I’ve taken responsibility for that.”
For his lack of action, Smith had to serve a year long ban from international and Australian domestic cricket. On top of that, the IPL franchises severed ties with Smith and Warner for 2018 in adherence with Cricket Australia. Cameron Bancroft was meted the same treatment from English county Somerset. On departure from South Africa and arrival at home, Smith faced plenty of flak from fans and media alike. Today, Smith spoke on his intermediary state of mind.
He said, “I’m going okay now. Initially after South Africa I was going through a bit, in a pretty dark space and had some tough days but they are few and far between now. Still have my moments, ups and downs, but I’m going okay and heading in the right direction.
“I’ve had tough days, but I’ve been really fortunate to have a close group of people around me who have helped me. There have been some dark days where I haven’t wanted to get out of the bed. A close group of people let me know it’s okay. I made a mistake, quite a big mistake, now I’m trying to move and improve as a person.”