Steve Smith, one of three men at the centre of the ball-tampering scandal that rocked our sporting world, has returned to Australia and in a determined Instagram post vowed to “earn back your trust”.

Even if you aren’t the most keen bean cricket fan, you would’ve heard how rising player Cameron Bancroft was caught tampering with the cricket ball during a test match in South Africa. Steve, who was captain at the time, took full responsibility for the actions before vice-captain David Warner stuck his hand up as well.

Long story short, the three players were dealt a hefty punishment. Steve and David were stripped of their captaincy titles with a suspension of 12 months and the inability to be eligible for captaincy for another year following the ban. Cameron was suspended for nine months.

Former coach, Darren Lehmann, resigned in the wake of the news. Cricket legend Justin Langer has since replaced him as Australia’s cricket coach.

Following the absolute media furore, Steve and his wife Dani flew to New York to understandably get away from it all.

In his Instagram post today Steve wrote:

“It’s great to be back home in Australia. I have had some time away to come to terms with everything and now it’s time to get back into it. The amount of emails and letters I have received has been incredible and I have been extremely humbled by the enormous amount of support you have given me. I now have a lot to do to earn back your trust. To my Mum, Dad and Dani you have been my rock through this and I can’t thank you enough. Family is the most important thing in the world and I thank you for your love and support.” 

And look, even though a lot of sporting fans – cricket or not – were exceptionally upset and pissed at Steve, his first Australian press conference changed a lot of minds purely because of the genuine regret and sorrow Steve showed for his involvement in the cheating.

A majority of comments on the post have been incredibly supportive. One user wrote, “Great to see you have a lot of love and support, look forward to seeing you back in 12 months.” While another wrote, “Waiting for your return champ. Hope you will be back with your best and start breaking those records again. All those allegations and punishments were far above than your simple fault. Come back strong and conquer the era again. Hope to see you on top again.” 

Former cricket star and absolute legend Matthew Hayden also commented, “So good to see that smile on your face brother. You are loved…respected and a massive part of the Australian Cricket and World Cricket Family.” 

All the best to Smudge.

Image: Getty Images / Ryan Pierse