Controlled myself from bursting ‘into tears’ – Steve Smith
Steve Smith (AFP Photo)

An emotional Steve Smith admitted his brilliant contribution to Australia’s first Test humbling of England was a dream come true after the pain of his ball-tampering ban. Smith hit 144 and 142 as Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston to win the opening game of the five-match Ashes series.

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It was a personal triumph for Smith, who was playing in his first Test since a 12-month ban for his role in last year’s shocking ball-tampering scandal on Australia’s tour of South Africa.

READ: Smith probably the best Test batsman we’ve ever seen – Paine

“It feels pretty special, winning the first Test in England is really special. It feels great, I’m loving being back playing cricket for Australia, doing what I love and contributing to wins,” Smith told BBC’s Test Match Special. “To score two hundreds in a match — the first time I’ve done that in any form of cricket in my life — is very special and I’m very proud.”

Smith revealed he had lost his passion for cricket as a result of his ban and an elbow injury, but he is now fully motivated again and reaping the rewards.

“I didn’t dream about how I would come back. I was just letting time pass and when I got my elbow brace off after surgery something clicked and I was ready to play cricket again. I did lose that love for a little bit but I’m back doing what I love now and it’s great,” he said.

Smith changed the tone of the match, leading Australia to 284 all out in their first innings from a perilous 122/8. “When I got that first hundred I was just thinking, ‘don’t burst into tears.’ That was as special as my first hundred back in 2013. It was a relief to get it out of the way,” he said.

“I copped a bit of stick out there but I’m not paying much attention to that and fortunately we’ve got a good Aussie contingent here. They’re creating a good atmosphere for us and we’re grateful for it.”