Steve Smith's two-year leadership ban expires
Steve Smith has been declared free to captain Australia again after his two-year leadership ban for taking part in the ball-tampering scandal has reached its expiry date.
Smith was at the center of the darkest hour in Australian cricket when he alongside deputy David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft was convicted of a brazen attempt to alter the condition of the ball.
Television footage showed the use of sandpaper in the tourists' Cape Town Test against South Africa in 2018.
Smith was handed a suspension lasting 12 months with co-conspirators Warner and Bancroft also copping bans for their involvement in the debacle.
Part of the punishment imposed on Smith concerned an additional year-long exile from holding any leadership position.
Having made a stellar international comeback with a plethora of runs especially in the Test format, there have been calls for Smith to take the captaincy mantle from incumbent Test skipper Tim Paine.
However, Australia head coach Justin Langer has repeatedly praised Paine, who has been guiding the side to success thus far in their World Test Championship campaign.
Amidst the coronavirus shutdown that has wreaked havoc on the sporting calendar, doubts linger over the fate of the Indian Premier League where Smith and several Aussie teammates were set to feature.
Sharing his thoughts on the current situation and the immense uncertainty surrounding cricket events, Smith told Channel Nine that he was focused on staying physically and mentally fit during this period of self-isolation.
"I think the country's basically shut its borders until the 15th of April," he said.
"It's obviously not looking likely at the moment, I think there might be some meetings over the next couple of days to discuss what the go is with it all.
"But just trying to stay physically fit and mentally fresh," he added.
"If it goes ahead at some point, then great. If not, then there's plenty going on in the world at the moment. Just play it day by day."