How do we perceive Steve Smith?

How do we perceive Steve Smith?

The Man with the Midas-Touch’ has suddenly turned into an ‘Exemplification of Disgrace’.

Steve Smith
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – MARCH 27: Australian international cricketer, Steve Smith is seen as the Australian Cricket team arrive at Cape Town International Airport on March 27, 2018, in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Brenton Geach/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Cricket is a great leveler

At one moment one perches at the helm of the world. However, the same ‘world’ doesn’t take time in turning upside down. Climbing up the ladder to the top isn’t a humungous task, sustaining yourself at that position definitely is. Meanwhile, being at the top is draped with the risk of falling down and never being able to get up for a substantial period after suffering the blow.

Just a fortnight ago, Steve Smith was speculated to be a brute force for the South Africans to tackle. An average of over 61 in Test cricket; the crown of the top-ranked Test batsman; and the torchbearer of Australian cricket- the world was no less than a fairytale for the spunky talent from Sydney. Even Virat Kohli’s six double-centuries couldn’t surpass Smith, which manifests the dominance by the Aussie.

Do the records even matter now?

March 28, 2018- The cursed day of Australian cricket- a perpetrator was being pelted with abuses and expletives, not to forget the attacks at the Johannesburg airport. Unbelievable, isn’t it? ‘The Man with the Midas-Touch’ has suddenly turned into an ‘Exemplification of Disgrace’. However, here’s one glaring example of individuality holding a more respectable position than the achievements in life.

All those match-winning knocks, the moments of brilliance, the jubilation of triumphs coupled with the respect earned throughout his career have been neutralized by a moment of madness, or rather a moment of foolishness. His numbers won’t be tampered with, but it’s evident that Smith will again be debuting, this time as an individual, a struggler who dreams about his goals and maybe as a ‘matured’ sportsperson.

Who is Steve Smith?

To make mistakes is human. However, mistakes are drawn parallel to heinous crimes by many, which indirectly means that humans are born as criminals for everyone is prone to mistakes, no matter what the stature of the individual is. An act of stabbing an innocent person, bombarding houses, running riots across the country and supplying illegal sources are being considered synonymous with ‘BALL-TAMPERING’

In that scenario, what’s the identity of Steve Smith– A criminal who should be hanged till death or a person filled with guilt and regret, who deserves a second chance? If he is a criminal, which he definitely isn’t, then a quarter of the cricketing world should have been banned, for at some point of their careers, they have committed errors, which could have been dealt with appropriately. However, they weren’t.

One classic case would be Shahid Afridi’s ball-chewing act against Australia following which he was handed a ban of a couple of T20 Internationals. Faf du Plessis, the Proteas skipper, had been involved in a couple of incidents of changing the shape of the leather, however, has never been banned. Waqar Younis has been another example who was spared with a one-match ban and an ‘insignificant’ fine.

Steve Smith
An emotional Steve Smith, the former Australian Test Cricket Captain, confronts the media. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

Does he deserve hatred?

As mentioned earlier, committing errors is a human characteristic. While they are worthy of punishments, the defaulters don’t deserve to be scorned throughout their lives. If every mistake is followed by hatred then the world would be nothing, but a hotbed of loathing and repugnance, which would lead to a hellish atmosphere.

Steve Smith could easily have evaded the suspension, however, one couldn’t help lauding him for the fact that he admitted the wrongdoing in front of the media, his countrymen. A criminal won’t or rather can’t gather the courage to confess any misconduct. And, here is Steve Smith putting his career at stake and letting his guilt and apologies out to the entire cricketing world.

Meanwhile, he also sets an appropriate example for the budding cricketers, not by his actions on the cricket pitch, but the manner in which he dealt with his own mistake. His career is in the doldrums and only Smith can be held accountable for the sanctions imposed against him by his own cricket board. However, every negative has a positive aspect.

Smith’s ban might have been harsh, however, he has the luxury of twelve months during which he can refurbish himself as an individual and prepare for kick-starting his cricketing career all over again with on a rejuvenated note. Meanwhile, there are many questions which spark:

Will Smith be able to garner his lost respect?

Will Smith be the same aggressive-natured cricketer who likes to dictate terms to the oppositions?

Will Smith be able to regain his stature as a cricketer?

Most importantly, will he ever be ‘STEVE SMITH’?