A two-year ban on the leadership has finally ended on Sunday on Steve Smith after the ball-tampering scandal took place in South Africa, leaving the star batsman free to lead Australia again. The 30-year-old has led the team until he was suspended for 12 months due to the ball-tampering scandal during a Test in Cape Town in 2018. Alongside the ban, a further year-long ban from any leadership role was also a part of it. Along with him, former vice-captain David Warner was also banned for a year and he was banned from any leadership role for life. While Tim Paine has been leading the team in the longer format, Aaron Finch leads the side in the limited-overs. Moreover, coach Justin Langer also praised Paine’s leadership as “brilliant”.
“I think the country’s basically shut its borders until the 15th of April,” Steve Smith said to the Channel Nine television “It’s obviously not looking likely at the moment, I think there might be some meetings over the next couple of days to discuss what the go is with it all.”
“But just trying to stay physically fit and mentally fresh,” Steve Smith further added. “If it goes ahead at some point, then great. If not, then there’s plenty going on in the world at the moment. Just play it day by day.”
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However, all cricket in Australia has been cancelled which included the three-match T20 series against New Zealand earlier this month where only one game took place in an empty stand due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Australia has a Test tour to Bangladesh which is scheduled for June and One Day International campaign in England, but both seemed to be at risk amid this crunch situation.
The upcoming edition of Indian Premier League 2020 is likely to be cancelled due to the situation surrounding COVID-19, the novel coronavirus pandemic in India, as per the report in The Indian Express. The mega auction, which was scheduled to take place before IPL 2021, will also be postponed by a year. Moreover, the franchises can retain the same squads they have for this year’s league and they will be given an option to pick or drop players as well.