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Smith smashed a heroic 144 that not only bailed Australia out of trouble in the first Ashes 2019 Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham, but also helped set a competitive total. @ AFP

Talk about Steve Smith’s father Peter Smith and that iconic image of a shattered son being consoled and comforted by his father at Sydney airport in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal last year will grip you.

Now, cut to Smith’s scintillating return to the Test arena after serving a 12-month ban for his involvement in the infamous scene at Cape Town that rocked the cricket fraternity, and it would be tough to imagine the emotions after Smith registered one of the greatest centuries in Ashes history.

The former Australia captain smashed a heroic 144 that not only bailed Australia out of trouble in the first Ashes 2019 Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham against England, but also helped set a competitive total.

“I think there was probably relief from his point of view, and you share it with him,” Peter Smith told The Daily Telegraph on Saturday.

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“He had worked very, very hard to get to that point. That was one thing he did say to me, it was one of the hardest innings he’s had to play. And you could see that in that hundred. And you could see the effect that it was having on him.”

Nobody was prouder than the father who knew more than anyone what his son was went through during 494 days. “For that reason you sort of go with him and enjoy it as well, but also know what he’s actually going through.

“I must admit, to begin with, I had more trepidation than I probably ever have had, which was strange. Then it all unfolded and it became emotional. It was emotional watching him get his hundred. And I’m still quite a bit emotional about it.”

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Smith Sr, who did not get sleep after his son reached a ton in the UK, said that his family have outgrown the testing 12 months.

“It’s been difficult but you just concentrate on what you can control. You can’t do anything else. There’s no point,” he said.

“You work on what you can control, what you can do to help. Putting balls in the ball machine, things like that. You have to work on that only and that’s what we did. Worked on what we could control.”

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Quizzed if the Edgbaston masterclass has been one of Smith’s best, the father replied: “I think the innings he played in Brisbane at the beginning of the last Ashes was one of his best. But this one, given the context of all that has gone to get to that point now, and he played under a lot of pressure as people fell around him … that probably made it. If it’s not his best, it’s way up there.”