Sacked Australia skipper Steve Smith, on Friday, revealed he was not involved in a plan to tamper with the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa but took responsibility as a leader for failing to put a stop to it. Smith, along with vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, was suspended for his part in the ball-tampering incident which shocked the cricket world and torpedoed Australia’s sporting reputation.
Speaking to the media for the first time since his emotional press conference in Sydney in March, Smith said he had learned of the plan when he overheard a conversation in the team’s dressing room at Newlands and the 29-year-old had the opportunity to prevent the sandpaper being taken onto the field but chose not to.
“I think it’s been documented pretty heavily, sort of, what went on,” he told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“For me 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 the potential for something to happen and it went on and happened out in the field. “I had the opportunity to stop it at that point rather than say, ‘I don’t want to know anything about it’ and that was my failure of leadership. And you know I’ve taken responsibility for that.”