By Amlan Chakraborty
March 28 (Reuters) – A picture posted on Twitter of Steve Smith’s autobiography “The Journey” in the ‘True Crime’ part of a Brisbane bookstore cruelly sums up the magnificent self-destruction of one of modern cricket’s many illustrious careers.
Irrespective of whether or not the baggy green cap , Smith has checked in at Australian cricket’s hall of shame whose delivery in 1981 is known as the nadir of the game.
Few expected the career of Australia’s Ashes-winning captain to unravel in such spectacular fashion but signs of a passing had been obvious last year after Smith failed what he called a “brain fade” at India.
The visiting priest triggered a storm by looking towards the Australian dressing room in the next test in Bengaluru, looking for guidance whether to examine his lbw conclusion in a breach of the participants’ code of conduct.
The poor blood it created overshadowed the series but that indiscretion paled in comparison with what transpired on Saturday at Cape Town, where Smith presided over an orchestrated attempt both to tamper with the ball and the spirit of the match.
Both incidents illustrate Smith’s despair to succeed a doctrine that eventually cost him what otherwise could have been a legacy of Australia captain, at any cost.
For in Smith, Australia boasted a awakening pioneer who was their mainstay — two parts the 28-year-old juggled with ridiculous ease.
Many found inspiration as a leg-spinner who came in at number eight emerged as the best batsman of his age in a player selected.
“I do feel for Steve Smith,” former Australia captain Michael Clarke told Australia’s Channel Seven. “Hundred percent he has made a major mistake and he along with lots of other folks I believe are likely to need to suffer the consequences.
“That is reasonable enough. However, I think it’s important that people do over time forgive too,” explained Clarke, whom Smith succeeded as Australia captain.
Forgiveness might not come easy, though.
The scandal has forced sponsors to assess their affiliation and infuriated other less dominant lovers and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
In a stroke, Smith has ensured that his 31 global centuries, stints at the top of the leadership into an effective Ashes campaign will not linger in memory.
Rather, a second brain fade ensured Smith would be remembered more as the architect-in-chief of a dirty trick using dirt and any sticky tapethat only succeeded in causing the downfall of somebody who place winning above everything else. (Reporting from Amlan Chakraborty at New Delhi; Examining by John O’Brien)