The ongoing South Africa- Australia Series has been marred by controversy because of the ball tampering issue and has no doubt affected former Australian captain Steve Smith’s legacy forever.
Cameron Bancroft, the Aussie opener was instrumental in ball tampering under the orders of the ‘leadership group’ and the whole situation has been despised upon by the cricketing fraternity which has brought the game disrepute.
Without much ado, let us understand what actually happened.
The Matter Has Been Blown Out Of Proportion
Smith deserves to be punished. He has been caught in an act of cheating. The problem is that the media outrage to the whole incident is baffling.
He has been termed as, ‘Shame Smith’, ‘ Clown Down Under’, ‘ A Disgrace To Australian Sport’,’ A National Shame’ and all sort of derogatory words. An article has been floating which equates Ball tampering with doping.
Let’s go through the rule book. As stated in the Telegraph, the offence is deemed to be Level Two, two below the most serious level. Possible sanctions include a deduction of a player’s match fee anywhere between 50 and 100 percent, and three or four demerit points added to his record. Four demerit points trigger a one-Test ban.
Moreover, this isn’t the first time that such an offence has been committed. Michael Atherton, ex- England captain was fined £2,000 for applying dirt to the ball in a Test against South Africa. Faf Du Plessis, the SA captain was charged too for trying to alter the condition of the ball. There are several similar incidents as well.
The way Smith has been lambasted left, right and centre is wrong. The act was committed in the heat of the moment out of desperation to win. Also, let’s not bring in the past incidents of Smith of, ‘Brain Fade’. Treat this incident in isolation.
My point is that he should be punished and the ban by the ICC should definitely be a lot more than 1 test match but the media scrutiny that he has been exposed to isn’t right. I can’t imagine an Indian cricketer or for that matter any cricketer being lambasted in such a manner.
Yes, he was the captain and the whole ordeal was orchestrated by him. ICC should make tougher rules on ball tampering. But let’s stop the slandering and let the man breathe.
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