The last week saw the ball tampering charges in the Australia vs South Africa Tour. A rookie and 2 world Class batsmen fell for the temptation and are facing severe action from their Cricket Board.
The Incident: The Australian opener Cameron Bancroft was caught on Camera using a yellow polygonal object to change the condition of the ball. The player says it was some parts of Pitch on a tape while some say it was a sand paper. At first Cameron was caught using the object to rub on the ball and then put it in his pocket and then puts in his Pants and shows a Sunglass cover to the umpires.
After the Match: Australian Captain and Bancroft come out admit to tampering the ball and say it was the leadership group without taking names. Now the cricketing world lost its minds. A test no1. batsman and a captain of a very recently successful team confesses to tampering the ball. He is handed a 1 match ban and 100% match fee as fine by ICC the governing body behind all international games. Bancroft is given a 75% match fee fine and left without any suspension. But they have added de-merit points (invisible indiscpline currency) to both the players accounts.
Australian Reaction: The Australian cricketers see this confession to be outrageous and slam the integrity of the captain and the leadership group. Some players such as Adam Gilchrist who is known by his integrity comes on television and slams Steve Smith. Smith’s predecessor becomes emotional on TV. All drama set aside The Prime Minister finds it an issue to comment upon and this comment forces the official of Cricket Australia to rush to South Africa and conduct enquiry on the players.
Sanctions to the players: Steve Smith and David Warner have both been banned by Cricket Australia for a year from playing International and Domestic Cricket but allows them to play club cricket. Bancroft is handed a 9 month suspension on similar lines. Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft won’t be considered for captaincy for one year after their suspension ends. While David Warner who is considered the main culprit will not be ever considered for captaincy again.
The IPL Angle: Though Australian the duo of Smith and Warner were captains of two IPL franchises Rajasthan royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad they stepped down themselves and the IPL was last to hand them a sanction of 1 year ban on the IPL
The more worrying fact: This 1 year ban on Smith and Warner has put the world cup squad of Australia in trouble as their leadership is now lacking and though there might be chances for Smith and Warner to return for the World cup is slimmer and Australia lose 2 important players in their main 11 for the Cup.
Comments : The incident shows us just how 2 players who weren’t in their right minds can loose their careers over a game. Now these 2 players will take the responsibilty of the loss if one happens. But now due to this incident the team came under so much pressure they did lose the test match and also their Integrity. Now no matter when they come back they are going to be viewed with an eye od suspicion which will spoil their game. My thoughts go out to Smith who from being compared to Bradman a couple of Months ago has to now sit for a year just because he had another of his “Brain fades”. David Warner goes out from being one of the feared test openers to the crook who spoiled the ball.
Do I agree with the sanctions by the ICC? yeah they did what was by the book. But does the book dictate all the situation. They don’t. Previous cases of ball tampering weren’t premeditated and hence by the book doesn’t really apply to the situation at hand.
Do I laud the board for handing in heavy sanction? I do because they have defined that no matter what happens integrity is more important in a sport that has fondly been called the gentleman’s game. The Australian Prime minister went as far as saying sledging doesn’t have any place in cricket knowing well that his country players would be the first victims if that is brought as a law.
This incident has put in question also the ICC’s decision of handing just one match ban and 100% fine to Smith while Warner was left alone. Also only in the previous game Kagiso Rabada was handed a 2 match suspension when he in celebration brushed against Steve Smith’s shoulder. Is the ICC partial in handing down fines and when coming to actions stick the rule book to our face?