Steven Smith, Mark Taylor, Australia ball-tampering
Steven Smith © Getty Images

March 2020 will be when Steven Smith’s ban on leadership end. Smith alongside David Warner have not only been banned from playing for a year for involvement in ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, but also have received a 2-year ban on taking leadership roles in Australia. Cricket Australia director and former Australia skipper Mark Taylor has backed Smith to return to the national captaincy after the leadership ban ends.

Smith is expected to be back in the Australian side for the 2019 World Cup but would not be allowed to resume the position of captain for the mega event.

Smith returned home to Australia this week from a trip to the United States, and declared he was ready to get back to business after accepting his 12-month playing suspension as a result of his part in the ball-tampering scandal.

Taylor expects Smith to lead Australia again.

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“I still think Steve Smith can captain Australia,” Taylor told Nine Network’s Sports Sunday.

Taylor, one of Australia’s finest skippers, had presented Smith his captaincy blazer in 2014. He believes Smith should be in Australia’s long-term plans as captain.

“Steve Smith to me, and everyone wants to label people, is not a cheat. Steve Smith was guilty of negligence in my opinion. He saw something going on and he didn’t stamp it out. That’s a mistake of negligence. He’s not a cheat, he’s a very good person. And to me that’s the biggest damage that’s happened over the past few months,” Taylor added.

Smith is 28, and there is every chance that in 2 years time he can regain the position from which he was stripped.

Taking the positive out of this incident, Taylor concludes, “I think if he ever does come back and captain Australia it will make him a better captain.”

ODI dilemma

With the World Cup coming in a year’s time, Australia have not selected their ODI captain. The Australian side for the ODI series in England is expected to be announced next week. If Test skipper Tim Paine does not find a spot, Aaron Finch may be the frontrunner for the ODI captaincy job. Finch was once the regular T20 skipper for Australia.