Steve Smith was banned for one year following the ball-tampering scandal during the Newlands Test against South Africa in 2018. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Steve Smith's career was at the crossroads when he was stripped of the Australian captaincy and banned for 12 months following the ball-tampering scandal during the Newlands Test against South Africa in 2018. After the dust settled, Smith understood the repercussions and he opened up about the torment which he felt after he was sanctioned. Following the scandal, Smith went to schools all over Australia and shared his mental state of mind which was tormented by the ball-tampering scandal. "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 had said. Even his wife, Dani Willis, admitted that their marriage had to face some tough times during the scandal. However, recently, it has been revealed that Smith's sharing of his experience about the mental torment he underwent saved the lives of two boys who were coping with depression.
In an interview with the Australian Daily Telegraph, Smith revealed that two young boys decided not to end their lives only after listening to Smith. "I was actually driving and I had to pull over and just take a minute to digest what had been said. Gus gave me a call and said, ''off the back of your chat, two kids have gone into the office and want to get help," Smith said. Following Smith's talk, many other boys stepped forward to talk about their struggles which ranged from bullying, peer pressure in schools and on homosexuality.
Smith made a strong comeback in the Test arena by smashing 774 runs at an average of 110 with three centuries and three fifties. Smith notched up 10 consecutive fifty-plus scores against England and his batting in the series has been simply phenomenal. Smith averages 64.56 after 68 Tests, second only to Bradman in the all-time list.Bradman himself averaged a mind-boggling 99.94 in his 52-Test career. Both Smith and Pat Cummins played key roles in helping Australia retain The Ashes. The Ashes culminated with a 135-run victory for England in the fifth and final Test and the series ended in a 2-2 draw. Smith's scores of 80 and 23 in the two innings in the final Test helped him remain at 937 rating points.