Former Australia captain Steve Smith has opened up about his mental state following the ball-tampering scandal in March. Smith made a rare public appearance at Sydney's Knox Grammar School as a chief guest on Monday (June 4).
"To be honest, I probably spent four days in tears. I was really struggling mentally and I was really lucky that I had some close friends and family members that I could speak to at all hours of the day," Smith told reporters.
"The people that I had supporting me through that whole time made a huge difference to the head space I am in now," he added.
Cricket Australia had imposed a one-year ban on Smith and David Warner for their involvement in the ball-tampering saga, while rookie opener Cameron Bancroft was handed a 9-month suspension from international cricket.
Besides the proposed sanctions, CA had also stated that each one of 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 as he was found to be the instigator of the plan.
It is worth mentioning here that Smith and Warner had lost their million dollars deal in the recently concluded Indian Premier League for Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively. The BCCI had barred them from participating in the cash-rich event following Cricket Australia’s severe punishment.
Soon after the infamous ball-tampering controversy, Smith had broken down during his media conference at Sydney Airport, 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 in March.