Former skipper Mark Taylor has backed the appointment of Steve Smith as Australia’s vice-captain more than three years after he was stripped of the captaincy for his involvement in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
Smith has returned to a leadership role as deputy to newly installed captain Pat Cummins, who was promoted to the captaincy position when Tim Paine quit earlier this month due to his involvement in a “sexting” controversy.
Taylor, who captained Australia in 50 tests from 1994 to 1999, acknowledged Smith’s return would not be universally popular but said it could help make amends for his involvement in the incident in South Africa in 2018.
“He’d be foolish to think he’ll ever win everyone back again,” Taylor told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“I don’t think he’d be too disappointed, he may well have wanted to become captain again, but I don’t see Steve Smith at home bashing the desk.
“He’s got an opportunity now to be involved in the game as a leader, albeit not as openly.
Smith was captain during the episode that became known as “Sandpapergate” when he, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were disciplined for ball-tampering during the third test against South Africa.
The 32-year-old was stripped of the captaincy and handed a 12-month ban from internationals as well as a two-year suspension from leadership roles, which he completed last year.