Former Australia skipper Steve Smith has returned to Australia following his extended trip abroad. The 28-year-old nearly spent a month-long break with his family members after Cricket Australia had imposed a one-year ban on him for his involvement in the ball-tampering plot at Newlands in March.
Following his return to the homeland, Smith posted a picture of himself with his fiancé Dani Willis on Instagram and shared an overwhelming message with it.
"It’s great to be back home in Australia. I have had some time away to come to terms with everything and now it’s time to get back into it. The amount of emails and letters I have received has been incredible and I have been extremely humbled by the enormous amount of support you have given me,” Smith wrote in the caption of the image.
"I now have a lot to do to earn back your trust. To my Mum, Dad and Dani you have been my rock through this and I can’t thank you enough. Family is the most important thing in the world and I thank you for your love and support," he further added.
It is worth mentioning here that Smith had broken down during his media conference at Sydney Airport in March, saying that the ball-tampering scandal is a failure of his leadership.
“I want to, as captain of the Australian cricket team, I take full responsibility. To all of my teammates, to fans of cricket all over the world and to all Australians who are disappointed and angry. I'm sorry. I made a serious error in judgement. It was a failure of leadership, my leadership. I will do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it’s caused. If any good is to come from this it can be a lesson for others and I hope I can be a force for change. I know I’ll regret this for the rest of my life. I’m absolutely gutted,” Smith had said.
Besides Smith, CA had also imposed severe punishments on former Australia vice-captain David Warner and rookie opener Cameron Bancroft. While Warner was banned for one-year after he was found to be the chief instigator in the entire saga, Bancroft was barred from international cricket for a period of 9-month.
In its statement, Cricket Australia had also mentioned that the convicted trio will have to complete 100 hours of community service before being considered for future selection. While Smith and Bancroft will have to wait two years before they are considered for leadership roles, Warner will never again be considered for captaincy.