Friday, 16 November, 2018

ICC missed chance to lead over ball-tampering scandal - Graeme Smith

Umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth confront Australia's Cameron Bancroft over alleged ball-tampering in the Cricket's Tapegate: 'New leaders will rise up ...but it will not be Smith and it will not be Warner' - Aussie great says pair are finished and 'arrogant' side must change
Glenn Montgomery | 27 March, 2018, 19:10

A report in the Daily Telegraph has suggested that the main three players involved could face one year ban after the ball tampering case while Coach Darren Lehmann might have to retire before the fourth and final test to be played in Johannesburg.

Ex-Australian opener Justin Langer is reportedly being courted as an emergency coaching stand-in for the Australian side, which will be captained by wicketkeeper and good Tassie boy Tim Paine for the time being. I am sure we can all recall recent examples in politics and business where leaders have not been able to live their values and have paid the price. Wasn't Greg Chappell ordering the Underarm against the Kiwis in 1981 just as bad? They were completely aware of the fact that what they were getting into was not only against the spirit of the game but against the law as well. Stalwarts from Mike Atherton to Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid to Faf du Plessis have been fined or censored for trying to change the condition of the ball knowingly or unknowingly.

"They believe he has given evidence to the integrity commissioner that they knew about the ball tampering", Craddock said. Bottle openers, zippers of pants, lip balm, hair gel, or in Bancroft's case, a sandpaper then come into use. Reverse swing is an art but ball tampering is dishonesty. In 2010 against Australia, England pacemen Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson confessed to treading on the ball with their spikes to rough it up, for the same reason.

NOTE: This offence supplements and does not replace ICC Standard Test Match, ODI and T20I Playing Conditions clause 41.3. On the second occasion, against Australia, he was found guilty of using mints to provide better saliva to soak one side.

Smith was fined his entire match fee too but that didn't seem justified enough for several sections of the cricketing fraternity. Faf du Plessis was caught using saliva after eating a mint to shine the ball.

While skipper Steve Smith has taken responsibility for the ball-tampering affair and worn the brunt of world cricket's criticism, Warner has stayed largely in the shadows despite being strongly rumoured to have played a major role in concocting the plan. For his strong stance, Hair was struck off the ICC worldwide umpires panel. This is used to gain an advantage from the pitch. When match fixing came along though, in the truly professional era, this was a much more serious form of corruption.

Ex-Australian pace bowling great Jeff Thomson, however, feels that the strongest punishment should meted out to Smith. But former South African captain Graeme Smith hit out at the ICC's handling of the scandal. He was clearly unhappy that Rabada's ban for two Tests was overturned by an ICC inquiry committee.

"They will lose every contract they have got".

Cricket can expect some good from Cape Town shock.

Even if he is cleared of any involvement in the affair, there is clearly a mood overseas in Australia that the standards of behaviour of the national team have dropped too far under Lehmann's leadership.

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