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SportBan will make Smith a 'better leader in future', says Roberts

05:45  23 march  2019
05:45  23 march  2019 Source:   smh.com.au

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Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts won’t rule out the prospect of Steve Smith captaining Australia again and believes the lessons learned during his year-long suspension should make him a “better leader in future”.

Smith and former vice-captain David Warner will officially be eligible to play for Australia again next Friday when sanctions imposed for their roles in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal are lifted.

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Smith, 29, is unable to hold a leadership role for another year and while he could resume the captaincy in the future, Roberts is strongly backing Tim Paine to continue in the post for some time to come.

Ban will make Smith a 'better leader in future', says Roberts © AAP Back in the game: Steve Smith will officially be able to play for Australia again next Friday. Asked whether he could see Smith being captain again, Roberts said: “I think that’s probably a classic case of taking things one step at a time. Steve has made a great contribution to his community, to his club, through the last 11 months and during that 11-month period we’ve seen Tim Paine come in as Test captain and do an absolutely outstanding job.

“Ironically, when Tim smashed his finger back around 2010 and really struggled to come back into the game for a few years after that, he gained life experiences that I’m sure have made him a much better leader. I suspect that some of Steve’s experiences over the past 11 months, whilst challenging, have also made him a better person and give him the prospect of being a better leader in future.

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“At this point we absolutely embrace Tim as the Test captain and wouldn’t be entertaining the thought of anyone else as captain at this point in time. I think also what’s clear in terms of Steve’s tenure as captain is we’ve got to make sure we’ve got the right leadership development for our players and that we’re not waiting until a captaincy slot is opened to slot someone in there, that we’re helping them develop leadership capability over the course of their career. I don’t mean to suggest that wasn’t a focus in the past but it will be more of a focus in the future.”

Smith and Warner are poised to return in the winter in England during the World Cup and the Ashes, having this week met briefly with national teammates in Dubai en route to the Indian Premier League.

With a new coach, Justin Langer, in charge, Paine firmly ensconced in the role and with the team having adopted a new player-driven charter, Roberts says the pair will enter a “very different dressing-room” to the one they last set foot in for Australia.

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"The team has moved on so much in the past 11 months since Cape Town," Roberts said. "So much has changed under the guidance of Justin as coach and the leadership of Tim as Test captain. One of the things I’ll always remember the last season for is the way the men’s team started to re-connect with the public.


“That’s what we’re working on now in support of the sanctioned players and all of the other players. Steve, Dave, Cam (Bancroft), they’ve been out of this team for 11 months and it’s operating very differently to he way it did 11 months ago.

“A lot of it is about bringing them up to speed with the new set of commitments the team has made, the new set of expectations we have of the team and of ourselves. It’s very much looking forward as opposed to looking back."

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