Months since he’s come back from a year long suspension for a ball-tampering scandal Steve Smith said that West Indies cricketer Nicholas Pooran will only learn from being suspended for ball-tampering. Pooran was suspended for four T20Is after being found guilty of ball tampering during the third ODI against Afghanistan.
Pooran who admitted to the charge and apologized on social media too could be seen on video footage scratching the surface of the ball with his thumbnail.
Smith and Pooran have played together for the Barbados Tridents in the CPL.
“Everyone is different, every board is different, and the way they deal with certain issues. For me, I copped it on the chin. It is what it is. I know Nicholas, I’ve played a bit of cricket with him and he’s a talented player and someone with a bright future," Smith was quoted as saying by Cricinfo. “I think he’ll learn from his mistake and move past it.
“I don’t feel hard done by. It was a long time ago now. I’ve moved past it and I’m focusing on the present. I played with him in the Caribbean league at Barbados. I think he’s going to be an exceptional player in white-ball cricket."
While that year away from cricket would have been undoubtedly painful for Smith, the Australian batsman believes it has helped him understand his mental processes much better, thus giving him a clearer idea of situations.
“I’m able to I think catch my mind, where that’s going and the decisions I’m making are a lot more clear with what I’m trying to do," Smith said.
“Every decision you make has got an outcome, good, bad and ugly, whatever, I’m able to think of how it’s going to look before I make that decision a lot of the time. Of course, I’ll still make mistakes, I’m a human being, we all do.”
Touching on the aspect of mental health, Smith, who has seen teammates Glenn Maxwell, Nic Maddinson and Will Pucovski to take leave from the game, said it is important to communicate and understand the other person’s stand.
“I think that’s something that we’re getting a lot better at," he said. “Communication with the coach, relevant people that are involved where we can have those honest conversations with about how we’re tracking. It is a pretty hectic schedule nowadays. It’s bloody tough to sustain it for long periods of time, particularly I think for the fast bowlers. It’s extremely difficult what they put themselves through. It’s great that those conversations are happening and we’re trying to keep guys as mentally and physically fresh as they can be.
“Don’t get me wrong, that’s no excuse on my behalf. No excuses there. But I think it’s great those conversations are happening. We fill out daily how we’re feeling, how we slept. The sleep gets a big red every now and again. We fill out a wellness thing every day. The coach and psych and head of team performance look at our markers daily and it’s upon us to be honest.”
“They can see how we’re tracking and if there’s a change in behaviour, if you’re feeling ill or not sleeping well or feeling a bit off, they’re aware of it. That can sort of start a conversation. Why is your sleep bad? What’s going on? Why are you feeling a bit off today? It’s good that they do that. It’s good for guys’ mental health and wellbeing as well."