Steve Smith will always be remembered as a cheat, says Steve Harmison

England v Australia - 4th Specsavers Ashes Test: Day Four

Steve Harmison has blasted Australian batsman Steve Smith this week about his part in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

The former England and Durham fast bowler stated that Smith will forever be remembered as a cheat irrespective of his current form and achievements in the sport.

Speaking for talkSPORT during the fourth Test of the 2019 Ashes series, Harmison declared the Australian batsman has forever tarnished his legacy.

Smith was banned from international cricket for a year by Cricket Australia during a 2018 tour of South Africa. Smith, along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, all returned to Test cricket for the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston this summer.

In his first Test back at the crease, Smith top scored with the bat in Australia’s victory at Edgbaston. It would be Australia’s first win in Birmingham in 18 years in Test cricket.

Smith has further cemented his form as one of the best Test batsmen in the world with a double century in an Ashes-clinching win at Old Trafford.

The Australian had hit at least a half-century in each innings during the Ashes. The only Test where England were victorious was in Smith’s absence, missing with a concussion. The Australia number four has so far averaged 134.2 with the bat in the Ashes tour and is on course to knock the most runs of the series.

Despite the inevitable Man of the Series award to come after the final Test at The Oval, Steve Harmison insists Smith’s legacy is irreparably damaged. This is due to Smith, as Australia captain, instructing Bancroft and Warner to cheat in South Africa.

Bancroft was caught on television roughing up one side of the ball in the third Test in Cape Town. South Africa would win the series 3-1, claiming the fourth Test in Johannesburg in Tim Paine’s first Test as Australia captain.

CRICKET-AUS-RSA-SMITH

Bancroft was banned for nine months for his part in the ball-tampering scandal, whilst both Warner and Smith’s respective bans ended on March 29 of this year.

“I don’t think you can forgive him,” Harmison told talkSPORT.

“When you’re known as a cheat – and he is, I’m not going to sugar-coat it – that’s on your CV. You’re marked and you take it to the grave.

Whatever Steve Smith does, he’ll always be remembered for what happened in South Africa.

“That’s something he’s got to live with. I can’t see anyone’s opinion changing on Smith, Bancroft, or Warner – because they’ve tarnished the game.”

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