Darren Gough launches furious rant at ‘disgraceful’ Durham decision to give Cameron Bancroft captaincy

23 Mar

Darren Gough has launched a furious rant at Durham for their decision to name Cameron Bancroft as captain for their County Championship campaign.

Bancroft, 26, recently returned from a nine-month ban from cricket for his role in the Australian ball-tampering scandal – where he, Steve Smith and David Warner admitted to cheating in the Third Test against South Africa in March 2018.

Australia captain Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft apologise for ball-tampering incident during third Test against South Africa
Bancroft and Smith address the media after the ball-tampering scandal

And former England bowler and Drivetime presenter Gough has labelled the decision by the director of cricket at Durham, Marcus North, as “disgraceful.”

“I find it an absolutely disgraceful decision from Marcus North to give him the captaincy,” Gough said.

“If he was the guy who had captained Australia before and everybody said what a brilliant leader he is as a man and everything that goes with it.

“But you only have to look his interviews and the way he talked about that [cheating] situation.

“That doesn’t show great leadership skills to me.

“Leadership skills? Just putting some sandpaper in your pocket and trying to scratch the ball. That’s not leadership skills.

“A strong leader would have stood up and said: ‘I’m not doing that.'”

Gough continued by saying Australians are only moving to England to get used to the conditions before the Ashes series in the summer.

Gough has launched a furious rant at Marcus North and his decision to give Bancroft the Durham captaincy

He said: “He misses the first game for Durham because he’s got to go to a sports dinner in Australia. An end of season awards for Western Australia. Hilarious.

“Not only that, but did Durham consider that Australia A have got a tour over here early season? Guess what? He could be in that as well.

“If they’ve got any ambition of picking him for Australia – which he’s hoping for in the Ashes series – he could be picked for Australia A first to get into some kind of form as a opener.”

Have a look at the rant in full below…

Cricket Australia closes investigation into Moeen Ali’s claims he was called ‘Osama’ during 2015 Ashes

24 Sep

The investigation into Moeen Ali’s claim he was called ‘Osama’ during the 2015 Ashes has been closed by Cricket Australia.

The England all-rounder alleged in his autobiography that an unnamed Australian player made the slur during the opening Test of the 2015 series, in an apparent reference to Islamist militant Osama Bin Laden, during an on-field exchange.

Moeen Ali stars as England wrap up victory over South Africa A team
Moeen Ali made the accusations in his autobiography

Cricket Australia, the country’s governing body, re-examined Moeen’s complaint but has ‘failed to unearth any new details’ after liaising with the England and Wales Cricket Board and its own team management during that Ashes campaign.

A Cricket Austalia spokesman said: “We have followed up with the ECB and our team management and confirmed that the incident was investigated at the time, with a response provided to Moeen.

“Moeen elected not to progress the matter any further and we have not been able to ascertain any new additional evidence through our enquiries. As such, the matter is considered closed.

“We take a zero-tolerance approach to remarks of this nature, they have no place in our sport, or in society and any allegations raised with us are treated seriously and respectfully.

“Representatives of our country are expected to uphold a high standard of behaviours and values, and they are fully aware of the consequences should they fail to do this.”

In an extract of his book which was being serialised in the Times, Moeen wrote: “An Australian player turned to me on the field and said, ‘Take that, Osama’.

“I could not believe what I had heard. I remember going really red. I have never been so angry on a cricket field.”

Moeen asserts he told a “couple” of his team-mates about the incident at the time and thinks England head coach Trevor Bayliss raised the issue with his Australian counterpart Darren Lehmann.

According to Moeen, the player denied the allegation, telling Lehmann he said: “Take that, you part-timer.”

The incident is alleged to have taken place during the opening Test of the 2015 Ashes

England, bolstered by Moeen’s 77 in the first-innings and five-wicket match haul, won in the Welsh capital before going on to clinch a 3-2 series victory.

Moeen revealed the player denied the allegation when they spoke at the conclusion of the series.

Moeen added: “He came up to me and said, ‘I know what you thought I said, but I didn’t say that. I’ve got Muslim friends and some of my best friends are Muslims’.

“I did not argue with him. But I was so clear that is what he said. Why should I invent it out of the blue? I’ve got nothing against him. I have never had any fights with him before. I did not even know the guy. And I thought his denial was a standard response.”

Cricket Australia to investigate Moeen Ali’s claim he was called ‘Osama’ by Australian player during Ashes Test

15 Sep

Cricket Australia are to investigate claims Moeen Ali was called ‘Osama’ by an Australian player during an Ashes Test.

Writing in his autobiography, which is being serialised in The Times, the England all-rounder revealed he was subjected to a racial slur in the opening match of the 2015 series in Cardiff.

Moeen Ali has not named the player he claims called him “Osama”

Moeen, who scored 77 runs in the first innings and took five wickets in the match, alleges the player compared him to terrorist Osama bin Laden during an on-field exchange.

He wrote: “It was a great first Ashes Test in terms of my personal performance, however there was one incident which had distracted me. An Australian player turned to me on the field and said, ‘Take that, Osama’.

“I could not believe what I had heard. I remember going really red. I have never been so angry on a cricket field.”

Responding to the allegations on Saturday, a CA spokesperson said: “Remarks of this nature are unacceptable and have no place in our sport, or in society.

“We have a clear set of values and behaviours that comes with representing our country.

“We take this matter very seriously, and are following up with the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) as a matter of urgency to seek further clarification around the alleged incident.”

Moeen Ali helped England secure a 3-2 success over Australia in the 2015 Ashes

According to Moeen, the player involved denied making the slur when confronted about it at the time.

“I told a couple of the guys what the player had said to me and I think (England coach) Trevor Bayliss must have raised it with Darren Lehmann, the Australians’ coach,” Moeen added.

“Lehmann asked the player, ‘Did you call Moeen Osama?’ He denied it, saying, ‘No, I said, “Take that, you part-timer”‘.

“I must say I was amused when I heard that for there is a world of difference between the words ‘Osama’ and ‘part-timer’.

“Although I couldn’t have mistaken ‘part-timer’ for ‘Osama’, obviously I had to take the player’s word for it, though for the rest of the match I was angry.”

Moeen revealed that after the series, during which he said the Australia team “refused to talk to or even acknowledge us”, he spoke to the player.

The 31-year-old said: “He came up to me and said, ‘I know what you thought I said, but I didn’t say that. I’ve got Muslim friends and some of my best friends are Muslims’.

“I did not argue with him. But I was so clear that is what he said. Why should I invent it out of the blue? I’ve got nothing against him. I have never had any fights with him before. I did not even know the guy. And I thought his denial was a standard response.”

Former Australia pace bowler Jason Gillespie has described Moeen’s claims as “incredibly disappointing”.

Sussex coach Gillespie, who played 71 Tests for Australia, said on BBC Radio 5 Live: “I haven’t read Moeen’s book, so it would be remiss of me to comment on that, however they’re pretty disappointing allegations I suppose, and I think Cricket Australia are doing their due diligence by coming out and saying they will investigate these things further.

“But certainly if those things are true they are incredibly disappointing and I’d like to think that as a society, as a sport, we’ve moved on from that sort of carry on.”

He added: “Certainly as a former player you don’t want to be hearing this sort of stuff come out, so let’s let Cricket Australia do their due diligence and do their investigations and until then it’s very difficult to comment.”

Moeen will captain Worcestershire at Vitality Blast finals day at Edgbaston on Saturday.

Jos Buttler’s heroics lead England to victory over Australia to complete ODI series whitewash

24 Jun

Jos Buttler rescued England as they pulled off a one-wicket win from the most improbable of positions to complete their historic 5-0 whitewash of Australia.

England’s hopes of pulling off a clean sweep appeared all washed up at Old Trafford when they faltered to 114 for eight in pursuit of an under-par 205 all out in the one-day series finale.

Jos Buttler after hitting the winning runs

But Buttler (110no) – who had already improvised a run-out and stumping in his wicketkeeping role – gave England the last laugh after all in Sunday’s tale of the unexpected.

They had bowled Australia out in just 34.4 overs, yet then – beginning their reply 10 minutes later – contrived to collapse to 50 for five against the pace and bounce of Billy Stanlake (three for 35) before the scheduled lunch break.

Buttler then had to bat against type as he finally found lasting support from Adil Rashid in a ninth-wicket stand of 81, and then scrambled the last 11 runs alongside number 11 Jake Ball, to carry England to the first 5-0 whitewash of their Ashes rivals in any format, with nine balls to spare.

Jos Buttler celebrates with Jake Ball

His share was a brilliant 117-ball century, by far the slowest of his six in ODIs, and a compelling late bid for a man-of-the-series award which had been destined instead for one of England’s top three after their heroics elsewhere.
It seemed a formality that the line-up which piled up a world-record 481 for six at Trent Bridge on Tuesday, then made light of England’s second-highest successful run chase at Chester-le-Street three days ago, would comfortably come out on top.

That assumption did not last long.

Jason Roy was first to go, for a single in the very first over, after Australia took a chance on the spin of Ashton Agar with the new ball – and the opener gave him the charge, missed and was bowled.

Stanlake then took over from the Statham End, Jonny Bairstow caught-behind and Joe Root edging to slip before captain Eoin Morgan was castled by pace.

Billy Stanlake of Australia

If England thought they were in calmer waters once Stanlake’s new-ball spell was done, they had to think again – because Alex Hales chased a wide one and was caught-behind in Kane Richardson’s first over.

Buttler was already batting admirably – but as Richardson returned to take two in two, debutant Sam Curran and Liam Plunkett caught-behind, support remained sadly lacking until Rashid strutted in at number 10.

He stayed put until hoisting Marcus Stoinis to long-leg in the 46th over – but Buttler would not be denied.

Irrespective of what followed, Australia’s innings was manic and flawed after they won the toss in glorious conditions on a quick pitch.

Moeen and then Curran – both with two wickets in three balls – took turns to stop the tourists in their tracks.

Travis Head (56) hit his third successive half-century, but got out frustratingly soon afterwards for the third time too, and D’Arcy Short was left unbeaten three runs short of his maiden ODI 50.

Australia faltered from 60 for none in little more than six overs to 100 for five – and they crumbled a second time after Short shared a stand of 59 with Alex Carey.

Head and Aaron Finch hit Curran out of the attack in an early onslaught which threatened to put unaccustomed pressure on the England bowlers, only for the introduction of Moeen to break the opening stand.

Finch edged an attempted pull down on to his leg-stump, and then Stoinis misswept Moeen to short fine-leg for a second-ball duck.

Australia repeatedly made much of their own trouble thereafter, captain Tim Paine one of two run out and Agar becoming Curran’s second victim when he played no shot to a straight ball.
Unaccountably, England conspired to bat even worse – until Buttler took charge.

Jason Roy century sees England cruise to six-wicket victory over Australia

21 Jun

Jason Roy’s century headlined another breathtaking display as England trounced Australia by six wickets at Chester-le-Street to put themselves on course for a 5-0 whitewash.

An opening stand of 174 between Roy (101) and Jonny Bairstow (79) kick-started England’s second highest successful one-day international run chase, before Jos Buttler (54no) joined in with a remarkable 28-ball 50.

Roy celebrates his century

They therefore knocked off a ground record 310 for eight with more than five overs to spare – before the floodlights could take effect on the longest day of the year.

Eoin Morgan’s men have a 4-0 series lead, despite centuries from Aaron Finch (100) and Shaun Marsh (101) and Travis Head’s 63 in Australia’s hard-working total.

The World Cup holders, depleted by a raft of key absences, are operating at a tempo from yesteryear – while England, top of the international rankings and favourites to take the global crown on home soil next summer, are vastly ahead of the game.

They followed Tuesday’s world record 481 for six at Trent Bridge by demonstrating they can be equally unstoppable in the chase.

Australia set England a target of 311

Roy set off with a glut of boundaries in an 81-ball century which contained 12 fours and was completed when he hoisted his second six high over long-on off Nathan Lyon.

If Australia had any reason to be optimistic between innings, the illusion was brutally short-lived.

It was a shock when Roy and Bairstow got out within nine runs and 13 balls of one another, Roy edging another attempted big hit at Nathan Lyon to short third man and Bairstow then trying to guide runs fine on the off-side but too close to Tim Paine off the returning Billy Stanlake.

Joe Root soon fell too, bowled as he tried to sweep Ashton Agar – who had Morgan caught behind cutting.

But after Alex Hales had been badly dropped by Paine off Michael Neser on 17, he did not need a full reprise of his Nottingham heroics as Buttler instead took over with nine fours and a six to ease England to another resounding win.

Finch’s 11th ODI century, and sixth against England, and Marsh’s second in three innings underpinned Australia’s earnest total.

They placed their faith throughout in the old-fashioned tenet of wickets in hand for a telling late push.

Finch hit only six fours – and three sixes – in his 105-ball century, and Marsh mustered five, and four maximums, in his hundred from 91 deliveries.

Morgan chanced Root as first change bowler, and Australia allowed the part-time off-spinner to hustle through 10 overs for only 44 runs.

This was England’s highest ever one-day run chase against Australia

They did take toll of ODI debutant Craig Overton and Adil Rashid, however, and – despite a rush of late wickets for David Willey (four for 43) – counted 82 in the last 10 overs.

Australia’s conservative approach, after Paine chose to bat first, appeared pre-planned on a pitch of fair pace but occasionally low bounce.

Finch had a minor moment of fortune on eight when Hales was not quite able to hold what would have been a brilliant one-handed catch at midwicket off Mark Wood.

The openers achieved six an over in the first powerplay, a rate they would not revisit until the innings was almost done despite successive century stands.

England need just one more win to secure a series whitewash

Head got himself out, pulling Rashid to deep midwicket, and Finch fell to his very next ball after reaching three figures – lbw to Mark Wood.

But Marsh sought to stay the course until he was brilliantly caught on the long-on boundary as Roy made an interception and parried the ball 10 yards away in-field to Overton.

That put Willey on a hat-trick, and he picked up two more cheap wickets in the death overs as Australia fell perhaps a few short of their gameplan – and plenty more short of a competitive target.

England batter Australia after setting world-record score at Trent Bridge

20 Jun

England’s new world-record total of 481 for six delivered series victory over Australia after scintillating centuries from Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow in an astonishing Trent Bridge run-fest.

The hosts wrapped up an unassailable 3-0 series lead with a mammoth 242-run win – their biggest in one-day internationals, and Australia’s heaviest defeat – after surging past their own previous global all-time high of 444 for three at this same venue two years ago.

Alex Hales celebrates his century

Eoin Morgan (67) put in a supporting bid for the headlines by hitting England’s fastest ever 50, from 21 balls in the third century stand of the innings, before he and Hales (147) holed out to successive balls from Jhye Richardson.

Australia, who had put England in on a pitch which made bowling a wildly unenviable task for all, then unsurprisingly could not sustain a plausible chase as Moeen Ali (three for 28) and Adil Rashid (four for 47) put the brakes on in a reply which crumbled to 239 all out in 37 overs.

Bairstow (139) and Jason Roy (82) were England’s first two driving forces in an opening stand of 159 which was broken only when the latter was run out by an excellent throw from D’Arcy Short in the leg-side deep, trying to steal a tight second run in the 20th over.

There was no let-up in the unprecedented run-rate, however.

Eoin Morgan celebrates his half-centru on the way to becoming England’s record ODI run scorer

Bairstow had two scares, overturning an lbw verdict on 27 sweeping at Ashton Agar and escaping a very difficult chance to Marcus Stoinis at deep mid-off three runs later off Andrew Tye, but he powered on to a 69-ball century.

It was his fourth in his last six ODI innings – and although he was eventually caught pulling Agar to deep midwicket, having hit 15 fours and five sixes, number three Hales dovetailed and then took over to the delight of his home crowd.

The pair put on 151 together, and Hales – whose hundred came from just 62 balls – finished like Bairstow with five of England’s 21 sixes.

Morgan hit six of them and, for good measure, went past Ian Bell as England’s all-time record ODI runscorer.

The Trent Bridge scoreboard shows England’s record-breaking score

The captain was cashing in expertly on the brilliance of those above him in the hosts’ powerhouse top order.

England’s openers set a remarkable tempo, and Australia had no answer as Tim Paine deployed eight different bowlers in the first 24 overs – to no avail.

In the final analysis, Tye suffered most as his famed variations fell flat on a perfect surface and he was dispatched for 100 runs in nine overs – while Richardson’s changes of pace deservedly brought him three wickets, albeit at the cost of 92 runs.

Moeen was among those who got little or no chance to join in the fun as batsmen. But he soon had a say with the ball – first tumbling low at mid-on to collect Short’s chip off David Willey to mid-on and then seeing off Travis Head caught-and-bowled just after the opener had reached a 36-ball 50.

The off-spinner was proving difficult to get after, and so it was again when Australia’s Cardiff centurion Shaun Marsh failed to get enough on an attempted straight six and was caught on the long-on boundary by Liam Plunkett – the second of two wickets for the addition of five runs leaving the tourists 100 for three.

Only details remained – and they all favoured world number ones England who can therefore contemplate the possibility of a first 5-0 ODI whitewash of their Ashes rivals.

England set Australia 481 at Trent Bridge as Eoin Morgan becomes record One-Day International run scorer

19 Jun

England set a new world-record one-day international total of 481 for six after scintillating centuries from Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow against Australia at Trent Bridge.

The hosts, bidding for an unassailable 3-0 series lead, surged far beyond their own previous global all-time high of 444 for three at this same venue against Pakistan two years ago.

Alex Hales celebrates his century as Eoin Morgan looks on

Captain Eoin Morgan (67) also put in his late challenge for the headlines by hitting England’s fastest ever 50, from just 21 balls, in the third century stand of the innings, before he and Hales (147) holed out to successive deliveries from Jhye Richardson.

Bairstow (139) and Jason Roy (82) were the first two driving forces in an opening stand of 159 which was broken only when the latter was run out by an excellent thrown from D’Arcy Short in the leg-side deep, trying to steal a tight second run in the 20th over.

There was no let-up in the astonishing run-rate, however, as Bairstow – who had two scares, overturning an lbw verdict against him on 27 and then escaping a very difficult chance to Marcus Stoinis at deep mid-off three runs later – powered on to a 69-ball century.

It was his fourth in his last six ODI innings – and although he was eventually caught at deep midwicket off Ashton Agar, having hit 15 fours and five sixes, number three Hales simply took over to the delight of his home crowd.

The Trent Bridge scoreboard shows England’s record-breaking score

The pair put on 151 together, and Hales – whose hundred came from just 62 balls – finished like Bairstow with five of England’s 21 sixes.

Morgan hit six of those maximums and, for good measure, went past Ian Bell as England’s all-time record ODI runscorer.

England withstand late Australia resistance to secure a 2-0 series lead

16 Jun

Jason Roy’s memorable century and Jos Buttler’s trademark power and invention just outdid an inspired Shaun Marsh to give England the edge in their Cardiff run-fest with Australia.

Roy (120) marked his one-day international return to this venue, where he was dropped from England’s Champions Trophy semi-final team almost exactly a year ago, with his fifth century in his 60th match.

Roy salutes the crowd after reaching a century

Buttler (91no) then launched an onslaught which marginally ran out of steam – but was enough to pile up 342 for eight and prevail by 38 runs for a 2-0 series lead as Liam Plunkett picked up four for 53 and the tourists fell short of a national-record chase despite Marsh’s wonderful 131 from 116 balls.

Jonny Bairstow got England off to a flying start after the jolt of losing captain Eoin Morgan to a last-minute back spasm which left Buttler in charge instead.

Bairstow hit eight fours and a six from just 24 balls before he aimed one cut too many at Kane Richardson and edged behind eight short of his half-century – ending the first of five successive stands of 50 or more.

Roy and Alex Hales had added exactly 50 for the second wicket when England’s number three was bowled through the gate by Jhye Richardson.

Shaun Marsh gave the Aussies a fighting chance by scoring 131

Joe Root fell to a very good catch by D’Arcy Short, diving forward at deep square-leg, from a pick-up pull from down the wicket to Marcus Stoinis.

Between the breaks for rain as clouds continued their advance from the west, Roy barely put a foot wrong – reaching 50 off 52 balls and three-figures from another 40 in an innings which contained 12 fours and two sixes.

After his first century since his national-record 180 against these opponents in Melbourne six months ago, he had a new all-time high in his sights.

But he was caught-behind off an inside-edge on an Andrew Tye variation, brilliantly gathered by a diving Tim Paine in his left glove – just three balls after the Australia captain had bagged a bloodied lip from one which took an awkward bounce into his face.

Liam Plunkett bowled superbly to finish off the Australian resistance

If Australia dared to breathe a sigh of relief at that point, it did not last long thanks to Buttler – who hit two successive trademark ramp-shot sixes off the pace of Jhye Richardson to kickstart a predictably manic last 10 overs with one which cost 20 in all.

They brought a further four wickets and 89 runs – slightly under par.

Still, the strong impression was that Roy and Buttler had put the contest beyond the tourists on a pitch with decent pace but occasionally variable bounce.

Marsh had other ideas, but lacked support from the rest of the top order.

Travis Head fell to a low, diving catch by Hales at midwicket off Mark Wood.

Two drops in the same position were collectors’ items, in that the unlikely culprit was the usually brilliant Bairstow as Marsh survived on five off David Willey and 27 off a Moeen Ali full-toss.

It was not until Glenn Maxwell helped Marsh add 54 for the fifth wicket and then Ashton Agar put on 96 for the sixth that England’s nerves were tested.

Moeen and then Adil Rashid held theirs admirably, the latter having Agar stumped with a brave and perfectly-pitched googly.

Marsh could therefore merely limit the margin of a seventh defeat in eight ODIs to England, eventually bowled by Plunkett as he aimed to leg.

England beat Australia by three wickets in one-day international at the Oval

13 Jun

England made hard work of a three-wicket one-day international win over a weakened Australia at The Oval.

Moeen Ali’s three-wicket burst reduced the tourists to a paltry 214 all out, before Eoin Morgan and Joe Root’s 115-run partnership put the hosts on course for victory.

Joe Root scoops a shot over Tim Paine for four

Morgan hit 69, with Root departing for 50, as England rode out a late wobble to start the five-match series in triumph.

Morgan, Root, Jos Buttler and Ali all perished to weak shots to leave bowlers David Willey and Liam Plunkett to finish the job.

Australia’s first international action since March’s ball-tampering scandal that saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft suspended ended in a defeat that would have been more comprehensive, save for England’s errant batting.

Australia struggled for fluency throughout, feeling the injury absence of bowling trio Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood just as much as their three suspended batsmen.

Eoin Morgan celebrates reaching 50

Moeen put England in control, claiming his first two wickets for three runs in a match-turning eight balls.

The Worcestershire off-spinner drew a false shot from Aaron Finch, clean bowled Shaun Marsh and then forced captain Tim Paine into a mistake to boot.

Glenn Maxwell hit 62 from 64 balls to dig Australia out of an even deeper hole, only to loft a facile catch to Jonny Bairstow off Plunkett.

England endured the worst possible start to their reply when Jason Roy fell to just the second delivery as he was late on his shot to a ball from Billy Stanlake that nipped back on him and was bowled without scoring.

The Australians celebrate getting the wicket of Jos Buttler

Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow then scored a flurry of boundaries before Michael Neser claimed his maiden one-day wicket when he trapped Hales on the back pad to have him lbw for five and leave England on 23 for two.

Bairstow continued to play freely as he went in search of a fourth consecutive one-day international century but he then pulled Kane Richardson straight to Travis Head at deep square leg and was caught for 28 to leave England 38 for three.

But Morgan and Root rebuilt the innings before Morgan and Buttler (9) fell to Andrew Tye as England leaked wickets throughout their facile run chase.

Root then edged Stanlake behind to depart on 50 when he ought to have steered England home.

Ali could not finish the job either, holing out off Michael Neser’s bowling for 17, teeing up a tense finish with England seven down and still 18 short of victory.

But Willey sealed the win by thumping a huge straight six to end unbeaten on 35.

Disgraced former Australia captain Steve Smith revealed he cried for four days after ball-tampering scandal against South Africa

4 Jun
Disgraced former Australia captain Steve Smith revealed he cried for four days after ball-tampering scandal against South Africa
Steve Smith cried for four days after ball-tampering scandal

Former Australia cricket captain Steve Smith revealed he cried for four days after the ball-tampering scandal which cost him his reputation and captaincy.

Smith, who was banned for 12 months, was addressing a press conference in Sydney when he initially broke down after being sent home from South Africa.

Baggy Greens batsmen Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all been banned by Cricket Australia for illegally tampering with the match ball in the third Test against the Proteas.

An emotional Smith apologised to all Australians, and specifically to his parents, and conceded that the ball-tampering scandal was “a serious failure of my leadership”.

South Africa fans taunt Smith during their Fourth Test back in March

Despite returning to cricket with Canadian T20 side Winnipeg Hawks, Smith has opened up on the trauma which followed him after the initial incident.

“To be honest, I probably spent four days in tears,” he said on a school visit in Sydney.

“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.

“The people that I had supporting me through that whole time made a huge difference to the head space I am in now.”