Do sin..get punished. This aptly suits to Steve Smith, Warner and Bancroft who were involved in the most recent Sandpaper Gate conspiracy. Finally Cricket Australia has given punishment for this trio by banning Smith and Warner for a year and Bancroft nine months. Coach Lehmann was proved innocent of this ball tampering act. Smith and Warner are also exiled from playing this year’s prestigious IPL too. Not only this, Smith will not be considered to captain team Australia for a minimum of one year and any consideration of future leadership would be conditional on acceptance by fans and the public, form and authority among the playing group. On the other hand, Warner will not be considered for leadership roles permanently.
In the third test against South Africa, Warner developed a plan to artificially alter the condition of the ball using a sandpaper, which is totally against the rules of cricket. Warner instructed Bancroft on how to alter the ball, which Bancroft applied perfectly as per the plan. As a captain, instead of preventing the plan to implement, Steve Smith encouraged it. All this was caught blatantly on the screen and lured referee Andy Pycroft’s attention. Thanks to Zotani Oscar, the main man behind capturing this shameful act of cricket. After getting the tip off from former SA pacer Fanie de Villiers, Oscar captured the whole scenario masterfully with the help of his tailored three-piece suit.
This is probably the biggest cheating case that has ever happened in cricket history. The players not only defamed their country’s pride, but also blemished the game of cricket by getting involved in this scandal. Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, took this on a serious note and he made sure that Cricket Australia penalizes the culprits. By punishing the convicts, Cricket Australia has proved that it is a source of great national pride.
High Time for Cricket Australia to Polish Players’ Behavior & Culture
This is not the first time Australian team has been highlighed for a bad reason, but this time we can say it’s for a big bad reason. If we take a far insight, right from olden days, team Australia is notorious for sledging. The team had a dream team under the leadership of Steve Waugh. Each and every player of the team used to be an expert in the game, but unfortunately they used to have same expertise in terms of sledging too. When the opponent starts totally dominating them, Australian team used to hurt the mental strength of the opponent batsman by sledging in the most awkward way and finally getting the player out. Whether the game quality of these players carried to the next generation players or not, but the sledging legacy has been very well inherited by the next generation Australian players. The derogatory nature of Australian team was best witnessed in the ‘Monkey Gate’ conspiracy in 2008. In this tour of India to Australia, Australian team players behaved in the most unexpected unprofessional way. Fortunately, at the end of the match, the then captain of Indian team, Anil Kumble reacted to this in the most matured and professional way by giving a slap-on-the-wrist statement, ‘only one team played in spirit of the game.’ The present coach Darren Lehmann might have hardly played 100 odd ODIs and 20 odd test matches. But in these few matches he played, he came into limelight not for his performances, but for his crude and unpolished behavior of racially abusing Sri Lankan players as ‘black cunts’ in their tour to Australia in 2003. The most pathetic thing in this tour is that even the spectators booed the Sri Lankan players as much as possible. Steve Smith is no less when it comes to these unprofessional issues. He was caught red-handed by Virat Kohli when he was trying to take the assistance from dressing room in taking the DRS decision. After getting caught openly in the Sandpaper Gate conspiracy, his statement in the interview that he still feels to be the right person to captain team Australia and he is not at all considering to relinquish the captaincy clearly shows his overweening and puffed up nature.
It’s high time for Cricket Australia to learn from this big blow which almost took away their nation’s pride. Not only from game perspective, they should also start taking intensive coaching sessions to players right from junior stage on how to behave in international cricket arena emphasizing players the importance of matured and professional behavior when you represent your country. Hope Cricket Australia doesn’t give their Prime Minister and the whole cricket world another chance to witness this type of disdainful activities.