Kerry O'Keeffe believes the public will get behind Steve Smith's return to cricket, saying he personally "can't wait" for his return.
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Smith is spending a year out of the game for the ball tampering saga over in South Africa, but O'Keeffe believes he's copped it "so well on the chin".
“I think he’s copped these sanctions really strongly,” he told Triple M's Dead Set Legends in Melbourne.
“When he returns for his first Test on Australian soil, I think he’ll get a standing ovation.
“I think the public have forgiven him. He was a victim of weakness. When he knew this was going to happen, he didn’t stamp it out.
“I think he’s copped it so well on the chin. Everywhere I go the public are behind him, and I can’t wait for his triumphant return. I think the crowds will get right behind this boy.”
However, O'Keeffe doesn't believe it'd be right for Smith to take the captaincy on again.
“I think he’s a great lieutenant,” he said.