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Adam Gilchrist backs Steve Smith to return as captain of Australia

Smith is serving a 12-month ban following the ball-tampering scandal.

Adam Gilchrist
Adam Gilchrist. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Former Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist believes banned cricketer Steve Smith has every chance of returning as the captain of his side. Smith, who is currently serving a year-long ban from international cricket, was involved in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket earlier this year.

During Australia’s tour of South Africa, batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught with a piece of sandpaper in his pocket. In a press conference after the day’s play, Smith himself confessed that the Australians had attempted to deliberately alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper.

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He mentioned the leadership group was involved in the incident, and Cricket Australia therefore slapped a year-long ban on Steve Smith and David Warner. Cameron Bancroft was suspended for 9 months. Subsequently, head coach Darren Lehmann stepped down as well amidst tears and apologies.

In the aftermath of the scandal, Smith was stripped of the Australia captaincy and will not be able to hold a leadership role for 12 months after having served his ban. However, Gilchrist isn’t ruling out an ‘amazing story of redemption’, especially since age is on the side of the 29-year-old batsman.

Smith – a story of redemption

“I don’t think it’s out of the question that Steve Smith could possibly captain Australia again one day. He’s young enough and if he wants to play long enough, there’s every chance … Wouldn’t that be an amazing story of redemption,” Gilchrist was quoted as saying by Fox Sports

After his arrival in Sydney, Steve Smith repeatedly broke down while holding a press conference at the airport and apologized for playing a part in the scandal. Gilchrist is convinced Smith has shown that he deeply regrets what happened and knows what impact the incident has had on his career.

“We all understood that he’s shown his remorse and his disappointment in himself and the damage that came out of that incident … Who knows down the track but it’s a long way off,” the 46-year-old said. Steve Smith was recently part of the Caribbean Premier League where he played for the Barbados Tridents.

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