30 Mar 2021: Steve Smith wants to lead Australia in international cricket again
Over three years after the infamous ball-tampering scandal, Steve Smith remains interested in leading Australia in international cricket.
In March 2018, the Australian middle-order batsman was banned from all forms of cricket for 12 months, and stripped off captaincy for two years in the wake of 'Sandpaper Gate.'
However, he has made a successful return across formats as a mainstay batsman.
Here is more.
Captaincy: Smith remains in contention for the role
In a few months, Australia will be on a mission of finding a new captain.
Test captain Tim Paine has turned 36, while white-ball skipper Aaron Finch will be turning 35 this year.
In this case, Smith, being eligible to lead, will be favorite to hold the position.
Meanwhile, fast bowler Pat Cummins is also in contention for the role.
Interest: Smith interested in leading Australia again
Speaking on the same, Smith said, "I've had a lot of time to think about it and I guess now I've got to a point where if the opportunity did come up again I would be keen."
"If it was what Cricket Australia wanted and it was what was best for the team at the time, it's something I would be interested in now."
Controversy: Here's how the ball-tampering controversy unfolded
The infamous ball-tampering scandal came to light in the 2018 Newlands Test between South Africa and Australia.
Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught on cameras after rubbing the ball with sandpaper in order to rough-up one side.
In the aftermath, Bancroft, along with then-skipper Smith and vice-captain David Warner faced heavy suspensions.
Head coach Daren Lehman also announced his resignation soon after.
Incident: I'll always live with that incident: Smith
Speaking on the Cape Town incident, Smith said, "I'm always going to have to live with Cape Town regardless of whether I lead again or not. It's always there."
"I've been through all that now. Time keeps moving forward, and I've learnt so much the last few years about myself and grown as a human being," he added.
Fact: Smith averages more in international cricket as a captain
So far, Smith has scored 12,712 runs from 250 international matches at an average of 50.44. The tally includes 38 hundreds and 60 fifties. However, his international average rises to 57.13, when leading Australia. As a captain, he owns 5,885 runs with 20 tons.
Schedule: Australia's upcoming international assignments
Australia recently lost the away T20I series to New Zealand 2-3.
Now, they have little international cricket scheduled for this year, with no Tests until the home summer.
They are slated to play Afghanistan in a historic one-off Test before the Ashes.
Meanwhile, they have planned white-ball tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh before the all-important T20 World Cup later this year.