Steve Smith: Ex-Australia captain hits 61 in Canadian T20 in first game since ball-tampering ban
Former Australia captain Steve Smith hit 61 off 41 balls in his first competitive appearance since he was banned for ball-tampering in March.
Smith, excluded from national and state cricket for his "leadership" role in the incident in South Africa, is playing for the Toronto Nationals in the inaugural Global T20 Canada league.
"I didn't feel as good as I would've liked but it's nice to score runs when you're not feeling good," said Smith.
He said playing was "part of my rehab".
Smith was eventually out stumped as Toronto beat Vancouver Knights by six wickets.
The 29-year old, who still tops the International Cricket Council Test batting rankings, has not played since he admitted to being part of the "leadership group" that conspired to "get an advantage" by illegally tampering with the ball during a Test match in South Africa.
Smith, whose 12-month ban does not extend to competitions outside Australia, said the scandal was not on his mind during his first game back.
"Honestly when I am out in the middle everything else is a blur. Just concentrate on what I am doing and it's almost like my haven I guess," he said.
"I'm not going to lie, it's been a difficult time in my life, there's no doubt about that.
"But I've accepted my punishment, I've accepted what I've gone through and I'm moving forward, and part of my rehab is playing cricket as well and that's what I love doing," he added.