Australia’s former captain Steven Smith made it public recently that he had his worst four days of his life following the Newlands ball-tampering scandal. He revealed that he had been tearful for the four consecutive days as the magnitude of the said scandal that shook the Cricket Australia and resulting of which penalties had been imposed in the manner of putting a ban on players involved.
On the very day when he and David Warner got their calls from the teams in the forthcoming Global T20 Canada tournament, they got the relief of planning to return to competitive action while serving 12-month playing bans imposed by Cricket Australia.
“To be honest, I probably spent four days in tears. I was really struggling mentally and I was really lucky that I had some close friends and family members that I could speak to at all hours of the day,” Smith said in an audio obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald.
“The people that I had supporting me through that whole time made a huge difference to the headspace I am in now.”
On the other end, Warner was being opted in the New South Wales squad’s 2km time trial to start their pre-season training schedule. Smith is nowadays all set to keep training privately before making the trip to Toronto. He also claimed the money he would receive from this tournament will be donated to the community cricket projects in Canada and Australia.
Warner will launch his batting onslaught for the Winnipeg Hawks in the tournament that runs from June 28 to July 15, while Smith – a marquee player – will play for Toronto Nationals. Apart from that Warner is also said to be playing cricket in Australia’s Northern Territory along with Cameron Bancroft. Bancroft is the third player to be banned during the scandal. There are also talks that they will play in Darwin’s limited-overs Strike League, with Bancroft who committed to playing the entire tournament while Warner will play two games.
The tournament called Global T20 Canada is all set to take place at Maple Leaf Cricket Club located in King City, Ontario, a small rural village 25 miles north of downtown Toronto. Just like the way players like Smith and Warner will be playing in this tournament, similarly, there are some other high-profile internationals taking part including Pakistan allrounder Shahid Afridi, Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga, and West Indian T20 superstars Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo.