Australia jeered on Day 4 post ball-tampering scandal

by Leon Thompson March 26, 2018, 0:42
Australia jeered on Day 4 post ball-tampering scandal

In light of the recent ball-tampering controversy, Steve Smith has stepped down as the captain for the remainder of the Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Watch News Nation's special coverage to know more details regarding the same.

The "friendless" Australian cricket team and under-fire captain Steve Smith have been described as a "train wreck" as the sport comes to terms with their ball-tampering confession. In an already acrimonious series where the players of the teams have had a public spat, one player was banned for two Tests and then let off, this incident is another reminder that players and administrators need to introspect and do course correction.

ICC chief executive David Richardson laid the charge against Smith under Article 2.2.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct which prohibits to "all types of conduct of a serious nature that is contrary to the spirit of the game".

Cricket may not be a gentleman's game in 2018, but surely it has not sunk to such a low that this kind of behaviour can be condoned.

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke, who expressed his anger on Twitter, later told Sports Sunday, on the Nine network, said he believed Smith would be "sitting in his hotel room in tears".

Speaking on Saturday, Smith said he was "embarrassed" and "incredibly sorry" but claimed Australia's coaches were unaware of the cheating.

Young Cameron Bancroft was caught on TV cameras while attempting to tamper the ball has now been charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and a thorough investigation is underway.

BBC's Jonathan Agnew responded, "Laws of cricket: 'The major responsibility for fair play rests with the captains.' Smith has admitted not merely cheating, but planning to cheat. I feel this morning they have every reason to wake up and not be proud of the team", Sutherland added. That is why what Smith and, as he puts it, the "leadership group" planned seems senseless and stupid.

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Bancroft, however, escaped a ban and is therefore free to play in the fourth test starting in Johannesburg on Friday if selected.

The scandal occurred Saturday when South Africa strengthened their hold on the Third Test - they lead by 294 runs with two days to play. If Australia's best cricketers don't have either the wisdom to realise the depth of their wrong-doing, the seriousness of their betrayal of the unconditional support they get, or the conscience to do the right thing, then Cricket Australia must step in.

The incidents in Durban prompted a public rebuke from Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland, who admitted the Australian players had not acted within the spirit of the game. "It's not within the spirit of the game".

Bancroft was caught on television, first rubbing a piece of yellow sticky tape on the ball and then trying to hide the evidence down his pants.

"I expected them to take responsibility for it and do something but not during a Test match".

Australian leg-spinning great Shane Warne added he was "disappointed" in Smith while former South Africa captain Shaun Pollock said Australia had been "caught" and had "been shown to cheat".

Earlier, a grim-faced Smith walked out of the hotel where the Australian team is staying, eyes hidden behind sunglasses as he marched to the bus that would transport him on the 15-minute drive around the bottom of Table Mountain to Newlands.

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