Steve Smith returns to competitive action

Last Updated June 29 2018, 10:04Cricket
Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Former Australia captain Steve Smith described how being mentally drained after the Ashes led to him "making horrible decisions" as he returned to competitive action for the first time since the ball-tampering controversy.

Smith was given a 12-month international and domestic ban by Cricket Australia for his role in the attempt to alter the condition of the ball during the third of four Tests against South Africa in March.

Three months on from the Cape Town scandal, Smith made his comeback in the inaugural Global T20 Canada, contributing 61 from 41 deliveries to help the Toronto Nationals claim a six-wicket victory over the Vancouver Knights in the tournament curtain-raiser at the Maple Leaf North-West Ground.

Reflecting on his time away, the 29-year-old said in a press conference broadcast on the tournament's official website: "I've been up and down with my emotions, if I'm being honest.

"I'm not going to lie, it's been a difficult time in my life, there's no doubt about that. But I've accepted my punishment, I've accepted what I've gone through and I'm moving forward. Part of my rehab is playing cricket as well, that's what I love doing.

"I had a bit of luck today and I didn't feel as good as I probably ever have but it's nice to score some runs when you're not feeling good, so hopefully some positive signs."

Smith amassed 687 runs at an incredible average of 137.4 during Australia's 4-0 Ashes victory last winter and he admitted his efforts had taken their toll leading up to the ball-tampering row.

He said: "I think I needed a break, if that makes sense. It's obviously come under some ordinary circumstances but I was really mentally fatigued.

"I put so much into the Ashes that I even think back to the one-day games after the Ashes, I don't think I've ever hit the ball that bad in my life.

"I was making horrible decisions and I just felt horrible at the crease.

"I just think it all comes down to the mental part of the game and just putting so much into that Ashes back home it just took so much out of me."

Australia have failed to win in any international format since the scandal, suffering a 5-0 whitewash defeat in the one-day international series to England before losing the one-off T20 on Wednesday.

Smith added: "I've had times, particularly watching the boys play in England and not play as well as they could have and England play extremely well, it was hurting me that I couldn't go out and help them and help them win games."

Related cricket links

Most Read

Sporting Life Open Championship tips: Ben Coley is backing experience at Carnoustie1

The Open: Outright betting preview

Golf expert Ben Coley tipped the winner of last year's Open Championship and includes two rank outsiders among his selections for Carnoustie.

The latest transfer news for Wednesday July 192

Transfer news and confirmed deals

The latest transfer rumours and completed deals as rumours continue to surround the future of Chelsea's star players.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action3

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Hart Stopper her best bet on Wednesday and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Bernhard Langer in action at Carnoustie4

The Open: Specials betting preview

Ben Coley has selections at 250/1 and 350/1 in his look at the specials markets ahead of The Open Championship at Carnoustie.

The latest from the back pages5

Wednesday's Paper Talk

The latest transfer talk and rumours from the back pages including a potential world record bid by Liverpool for a goalkeeper.

Most Read

Sporting Life Open Championship tips: Ben Coley is backing experience at Carnoustie1

The Open: Outright betting preview

Golf expert Ben Coley tipped the winner of last year's Open Championship and includes two rank outsiders among his selections for Carnoustie.

The latest transfer news for Wednesday July 192

Transfer news and confirmed deals

The latest transfer rumours and completed deals as rumours continue to surround the future of Chelsea's star players.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action3

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Hart Stopper her best bet on Wednesday and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Bernhard Langer in action at Carnoustie4

The Open: Specials betting preview

Ben Coley has selections at 250/1 and 350/1 in his look at the specials markets ahead of The Open Championship at Carnoustie.

The latest from the back pages5

Wednesday's Paper Talk

The latest transfer talk and rumours from the back pages including a potential world record bid by Liverpool for a goalkeeper.

Racing Tips

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Dave Ord previews Wednesday's action with the Sporting Life Daily Nap running at Wolverhampton's evening card.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action

Wednesday's racing preview

Anita Chambers makes Hart Stopper her best bet on Wednesday and she has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action

Thursday's racing preview

Anita Chambers takes Vera Drake to strike at Hamilton and has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Next Race Off
19:45 Yarmouth
1
(5)
Arcanista
J: S De Sousa
2
(4)
Deeds Not Words
J: J F Egan
4
(7)
Wild Acclaim
J: Nicola Currie

Football Tips

Neymar in action for Brazil against Serbia

Sporting Life: Tipping record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in July 2018.

Get your bets on!

Our best bets

Check out all of our available betting tips and previews of the forthcoming sporting action.

We have two best bets for the World Cup final

World Cup final betting tips

There's a David v Goliath battle in the World Cup final but will France prove just one game too far for Croatia? Paul Higham has two best bets.