Smith Savours Ashes Century After Fearing Scandal Would End Career

Written by Vipin Darwade

Australia’s Steve Smith said he had contemplated the end of his career after marking his first Test since a year-long ball-tampering ban with a superb century on the opening day of the 2019 Ashes.

The tourists were struggling at 17-2 at Edgbaston on Thursday when former Australia captain Smith walked out to bat and they later collapsed to 122-8.

But Smith, ignoring the repeated boos of the crowd, made 144 in a total of 284 after current Australia skipper Tim Paine won the toss before England closed on 10-0.

“There were times throughout the last 15 months where I didn’t know if I was ever going to play cricket again,” Smith, renowned for his obsessive devotion to the sport, told after stumps.

“I lost a bit of love for it at one point, particularly when I had my elbow operation.

“It was really bizarre that it was the day I got the brace off my elbow, I found a love for it again.

“I don’t know what it was, it was like a trigger that just said ‘right I’m ready to go again, I want to play and I want to go out and play for Australia and make people proud and just do what I love doing’.

When Broad eventually bowled Smith, the paceman had his 100th Test wicket against Australia after completing an innings haul of 5-86.


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Vipin Darwade