Steve Smith‘s leadership ban, a result of his involvement in ball-tampering ban, ended on Sunday, two years after the scandal rocked Australian cricket. Smith, alongside David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were handed bans for orchestrating the illegal act. Also Read - IPL 2021: David Warner Gives Update on Kane Williamson's Absence After Mumbai Indians Beat Sunrisers Hyderabad
Apart from banning the trio for a limited period ranging from nine-month to a year, Warner was permanently banned from ever assuming a leadership role while Smith’s, the then captain across formats, was for the duration of two years. Also Read - IPL 2021: Hardik Pandya Reacts on The David Warner Runout During MI vs SRH - I Just Wanted to Take Aim And Hit
The ban has been lifted amid the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the world and Smith, like others, has been confined to spending time in the gym and going for 10-km runs. Also Read - IPL 2021 Match Report, MI vs SRH: Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult Guide Mumbai Indians to 13-Run Win Over Sunrisers Hyderabad
“It’s obviously not looking likely [the IPL will go ahead] at the moment,” Smith told Nine’s Sports Sunday. “I think there might be some meetings over the next few days to discuss what the go is with it all. I’m just trying to stay physically and mentally fit and fresh and, if it goes ahead at some point, then great. And, if not, there’s plenty going on in the world at the moment. So just play it day by day.”
The ban being lifted, it’s highly unlikely the 30-year-old will return as Australia captain anytime soon.
Tim Paine, 35, has lead Australia admirably well in Test arena, pushing them up to third in the rankings and might keep the role till the time he continues playing international cricket. On the other hand, Aaron Finch has been nothing short of impressive as the captain of their limited-overs side.
However, Smith does captain IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals.
Whenever either of the pair (Paine and Finch) decides to step down or announce retirement, Smith would be one of the leading candidates to return as the captain.