The cricket world has been under shock for the last couple of days, as Aussie captain Steve Smith admitted he and his team mates deliberately tried to break the rules and indulge in ball tampering, during the third test match against South Africa.
After the incident, Steve Smith was handed a one-match ban and charged 100% of his match fee by ICC, while Cameron Bancroft was fined 75% of his match fee and handed three demerit points.
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This is what ICC chief executive, David Richardson, had to say about the matter,
“The decision made by the leadership group of the Australian team to act in this way is clearly contrary to the spirit of the game, risks causing significant damage to the integrity of the match, the players and the sport itself and is, therefore ‘serious’ in nature. As captain, Steve Smith must take full responsibility for the actions of his players and it is appropriate that he be suspended.
“The game needs to have a hard look at itself. In recent weeks we have seen incidents of ugly sledging, send-offs, dissent against umpires’ decisions, a walk-off, ball tampering and some ordinary off-field behaviour.” he added.
“This Test match needs to proceed, and in the interim we will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands,” Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said in a statement on Sunday night.
“As I said earlier today, Cricket Australia and Australian cricket fans expect certain standards of conduct from cricketers representing our country, and on this occasion these standards have not been met. All Australians, like us, want answers and we will keep you updated on our findings, as a matter of priority.” Sutherland concluded.
Aussie legend, Adam Gilchrist, was visibly shocked and extremely emotional about the entire incident.
“Australian cricket now and the integrity of Australian cricket is the laughing stock of world sport.”
“I’m really sad, shocked, stunned – I’m not trying to over-dramatise it but (I’m) really emotional about this.”
This clearly is against the laws of the game and we’ve just had our national captain and our national team admit that they sat down, premeditated and pre-planned a way to cheat, “he added.
Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was appalled by ICC’s decision, as he could not believe that ICC was so light in their punishment.
wow @ICC wow. Great treatment nd FairPlay. No ban for Bancroft with all the evidences whereas 6 of us were banned for excessive appealing in South Africa 2001 without any evidence and Remember Sydney 2008? Not found guilty and banned for 3 matches.different people different rules
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) March 25, 2018
He also mentioned two instances when Harbhajan himself was at the receiving end of some harsh treatment for cricket’s governing body.
One wonders what holds next for Steve Smith and the Australian team.