Will fully support Smith’s return to captaincy: Tim Paine

Dubai: Australian Test captain Tim Paine has said that he would ‘fully support’ Steve Smith in regaining the captaincy.

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Cricket Australia had imposed a two-year captaincy ban on Smith for his involvement in the sandpaper gate scandal against South Africa in 2018.

The right-handed batsman admitted that he had allowed opener, Cameron Bancroft, to use sandpaper to manipulate the conditions of the ball during their third Test in Cape Town.

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Smith on March 29 became eligible to lead the side as his ban came to an end.

“I haven’t had that conversation with Smithy [Steve Smith], I probably will at some stage no doubt but I think that he’s back captaining the [Indian Premier League’s] Rajasthan Royals and captaining in [English competition] The Hundred, it’s something that he loves doing,” ICC quoted Paine as saying.

“If Steve Smith decides that’s the way he wants to go then I’d fully support him in trying to again,” he added.

Smith had successfully returned in all formats. He last played an ODI against New Zealand in an empty stadium which Australia won by 71-run.

Smith had a great Ashes tour as he scored 774 runs, the most runs in a series in this century. He is currently the number one batter in the ICC Test rankings.

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