First things first, Smith messed up big time but jeez have a bit of sympathy. He didn’t kill anyone. He made a mistake and will be punished enough, he could become depressed from this sort of thing. No need to continue going after him anymore. Its over.
Now let’s get back to the whole scenario… The third test match played between the Aussies and the Proteas turned into the most scandalous affair when David Warner, allegedly, thought of a shameful plan to temper the ball by bringing a foreign object to the field. Young batsman Cameron Bancroft was asked to execute the plan by his Captain Steve Smith and Vice-Captain Warner using a “yellow sticky tape” in order to roughen up one side of the ball which would produce reverse swing. Although it was confirmed by investigating team that sandpaper was used.
Steve Smith: The Aussie captain’s involvement shocked the nation
Steven Peter Devereux Smith, one of the most hard-working and decent blokes in world cricket, knew of the plan but didn’t stop his teammates from committing this atrocious act which came into light when Bancroft was caught on camera and confirmed by the Aussie captain.
Further investigations revealed that Smith was too involved equally in the plan and is also accused of misleading the on-field umpires and officials to hide their unfair act.
David Warner: Disappointing but not shocking
David Warner is not a new name when it comes to controversies. The left-hander missed the majority of 2013 Champions Trophy when he punched Joe Root in a bar in Birmingham. And who can forget the footage of him threatening Quinton de Kock in the stairway? His involvement in the incident is major as he not only came up with the plan but also asked the junior teammate to perform the shameful act.
According to various reports, all the players want him out of the team after he was found partying with his friends the night after the scandal broke out. He has also left the Whatsapp group of the team and was put on a different plane than Bancroft and Smith. It appears that Warner’s international career is all but over.
Cameron Bancroft: Young lad got misled by seniors
Bancroft though carried out the disgraceful act on the field but he is the juniormost player who could be seen as the teammate who followed his senior instructions without thinking of the consequences. Instead of guiding him to play fairly in the spirit of the game, Warner and Smith directed him to do something which is not only disrespectful to cricket but also dangerous to his future as a player.
What the three players lost?
All the three players have been dropped from the next test match and sent home with immediate effect.
Cricket Australia has punished Smith’s involvement in the scam by snatching his captaincy and banning him for one year, plus he will also miss this year’s IPL where he was supposed to captain Rajasthan Royals. He will also not be considered for Australian captaincy till March 2020.
David Warner, the most successful and experienced player of Australia is also barred for 12 months and will never be considered for any leadership role for his entire career.
Young Bancroft has been banned for a period of 9 months and 75% of his match fee, seeing him as a young player who was misguided by seniors (Smith and Warner).
Coach Darren Lahmann steps down as coach
Although it is widely believed that Lehmann relayed the message to hide the sandpaper to Bancroft through 12th man Peter Handscomb, he was claimed to be free of any involvement in the big scandal by CA. But later on, Beefy felt the need to resign after emotional apologies given by Smith and Bancroft. He felt responsible for the culture developed inside the team and ultimately decided to resign after the South African tour.
From fans to Prime Minister to Legendary cricketers, all shocked and disappointed
Criticism is coming from all directions since the scam. From legendary cricketers to even the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, all have condemned the act which has even been called cheating by the general public.
Okay so is ball tampering that big of a deal?! Many cricketers have been caught trying to change the condition of the ball… First of all, the players are not being punished for ball tampering. They are being punished for the way they conducted it and tried to cover it up later before being exposed on the big screen.
Though this scam has brought shame and humiliation for Cricket Australia, they have already been criticised enough and this incident should be forgotten instead of growing it into more news in order to restore the faith in cricket.
What can be done now?
Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft have issued public apologies. They have fronted the press and both of them were reduced to tears during their respective press conferences while David Warner is yet to issue out a statement formally. Smith, in particular, looked absolutely shattered as he was the Captain and this disgraceful act took place under his watch. He will most certainly regret it for the rest of his lifetime. He deserves the punishment, but not the hate.
Smith is a good guy who is in this unfortunate situation due to a bad decision, same is the case with Bancroft and apparently, nobody cares about David Warner. Smith has already faced a lot of flak for this blunder and everybody deserves a second chance as they have already received their share of punishments.
It was particularly saddening to see the way Smith had to be escorted at the Airport. All we can hope for is that the players are left alone during this time by the press and public since they are human beings first and cricketers second. Let us hope that the involved players can redeem themselves and regain their lost pride.
Steve Smith is one of the mentally toughest cricketers at the moment, and I believe we have not seen the last of his best…
Ball Tempering scandal: Smith, Warner and Bancroft bring disgrace for Cricket Australia