Steve Smith has been incredible in the Ashes 2019 so far. The former Australian captain, who served a one-year ban from international cricket after being involved in a ball-tampering scandal in 2018, made a remarkable comeback in the longest format of the game with the Ashes.
Smith is currently the highest run-scorer in the series so far, and even when he has played only three matches, Smith is already the highest run-getter in the longest format of the game this year.
The batsman also regained the first spot in the ICC Test Rankings from Indian captain Virat Kohli, and took a commanding lead over the batsman with a heroic show in the fourth Ashes Test, where he scored a double-century.
However, former England spinner Monty Panesar believes that Smith's performances will never overshadow the fact that he tampered with the ball, and that he will be remembered as a cheat.
In an interview with The Times of India, Panesar compared Smith's tainted moment against South Africa to footballer Diego Maradona's infamous 'Hand of God' goal against England.
"(Steve) Smith was probably honest with himself. He is back and doing what he always loves to do. He is batting well and scoring runs. He is a traditional Australian cricketer with the baggy green. He is exactly what an Australian cricketer looks like," began Panesar.
"We all have heard of great (Diego) Maradona and his hand goal (hand of God) in the World Cup. People remember him because of that goal. Similarly, people will always remember Smith's involvement in the ball-tampering episode during the Test against South Africa. He will always be known as a cheat, despite scoring huge number of runs.
"There is no doubt though, that he is a great talent. He has been phenomenal for Australian cricket. After some years, I am not sure how people will treat him. When his name will be placed alongside great cricketers then there will be a question that is he really a great or just a good cricketer who is also a cheat."
Earlier, England's former fast bowler Steve Harmison also said that his performances won't change his opinion on him, insisting that the offence he committed is unforgivable.
"I don't think you can forgive him," Steve 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."