Steve Smith today told reporters in Sydney that he had the opportunity to stop the plan for ball-tampering, but he did not and that was his leadership failure.
Steve Smith today told reporters in Sydney that he had the opportunity to stop the plan for ball-tampering, but he did not and that was his leadership failure.

Facing the media for the first time after his tearful apology in March following the ball-tampering/sandpaper scandal in South Africa earlier this year, disgraced former Australian skipper Steve Smith today told reporters in Sydney that he had the opportunity to stop the plan for ball-tampering, but he did not and that was his leadership failure.

“I walked past something and had the opportunity to stop it and I didn’t do it,” Smith said as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald. “That was my leadership failure. There was potential for something to happen and it went on and happened out on the field. I had the opportunity to stop it at that point.”

When asked about what he did when he came to know about the plan, Smith said he didn’t want to know about it and walked away.

Elaborating further, Smith said as he walked in the room at lunch break at Newlands on day three of the third Test against South Africa, it was a potential for something to happen. It went out and happened on the field.

“It’s been documented pretty heavily what went on,” said Smith, who has not spoken about the specifics of the incident before. “In the room I walked past something and had the opportunity to stop it and I didn’t do it and that was my leadership failure. It was a potential for something to happen. It went out and happened on the field. I had the opportunity to stop it rather than say I didn’t want to know anything about it. That was my failure of leadership for that and I have taken responsibility for that.”

Smith also opened up about the turmoil-ridden phase after the scandal rocked Australian cricket.

“I’m going OK,” Smith said at the SCG. “I’ve had tough days, I’ve had my ups and downs. But I’ve been really fortunate to have a close group of people around me to help me through those difficult times.

“There have been some dark days where I haven’t wanted to get out of bed and things like that. But I’ve had a close group of people around me to help me know that it’s OK. I’ve made a mistake and it was a big mistake and I’m trying to move on from that and improve as a person.”

The 29-year-old,, currently serving a 12-month ban from international cricket, turned out at a nets session against his New South Wales state-mates Mitchell StarcJosh Hazzlewood and Pat Cummins to prepare them to face Virat Kohli‘s India n the upcoming four-Test series, during which Hazlewood felled him with a short ball.

Yesterday, Smith was barred from playing  for Comilla Victorians in the upcoming edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), on account of a violation of the tournament rules.

The franchise was made aware of the development after other franchises objected to Smith being signed as a replacement player from outside the BPL draft, which breaks the rules of the league.

Smith last week led his club Sutherland to the New South Wales Premier T20 championship in his return to the Sydney Cricket Ground. His ban ends on March 29, 2019.