Former Australia captain Steve Smith has admitted that he failed as a leader by not doing anything before the bal-tampering incident happened at Newlands in March this year.
Smith is still serving a one year suspension for his part in the scandal where sandpaper was taken on to the field and used to try and roughen up the ball.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Smith for the time opened up on what took place inside the dressing room as David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were planning to deliberately try to cheat.
Asked what he said in that fateful moment, Smith said: “‘I don’t want to know about it’ and walked away – that was my chance where I could have stopped something from happening.
“For me in the room I walked past something and had the opportunity to stop it and I didn’t do it. That was my leadership failure.
“Something happened out on the field and I had the opportunity to stop it at that point rather than say I don’t want to know anything about it, that was my failure and I’ve taken responsibility for that.”
Smith, who has been playing in T20 leagues as well as club cricket at home, said he had gone through some “dark days” after the incident as he fell from the grace.
However, with his suspension running out at the end of March, the former Aussie skipper now can see light at the end of the tunnel and is desperate to return, with the World Cup and the Ashes on the horizon next year.
Smith added: “I’m just moving forward day to day, and doing what I need to do to prepare to hopefully get another opportunity to play for Australia.
“And if that’s World Cup and Ashes, so be it. And no doubt the English crowd will be incredibly hostile. I’m ready for that, if that happens.”
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