Steve Smith: Former Australia captain wants another chance to lead his country

Former Australia captain Steve Smith says he “would be keen” to lead his country once again – having had to give up the role after the ‘sandpaper-gate’ scandal in 2018.

Smith was suspended from international cricket for 12 months and banned from leadership roles for two years for his role in the events at Cape Town during a Test against South Africa in March 2018.

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Smith, his deputy David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft, were all sanctioned after the latter was caught on camera attempting to change the condition of the ball using sandpaper.

With Smith banned, Tim Paine took over the reins of Australia’s Test side while Aaron Finch was handed the captaincy of the white-ball teams.

Asked whether he might lead the team again at some stage, Smith told News Corp: “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.

“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.”

Paine will turn 37 when he is expected to captain Australia against England in the Ashes this winter – and fast bowler Pat Cummins has acted as vice-captain in the past.

Smith added: “I’m always going to have to live with Cape Town, regardless of whether I lead again or not. It’s always there.

“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 Tim and Finchy.

“I haven’t always felt like I wanted to do it again. That’s only come in the last little bit.”

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