As South Africa captain Faf du Plessis explained, this ongoing Test series against Australia is becoming “bizarre”. After Rabada’s episode in the second International Test, the third Test is now marred with even more serious issue. Cameron Bancroft, the new player in team Australia was caught red handed tempering the ball with a yellow tape. The camera clearly caught him hiding the tape inside his pants. When he was inquired by umpires, the batsman cunningly put out his black hankie that he uses to wipe his googles.
Let’s say, he is a rookie, a new player from domestic circuit still to learn behavior, but Steven Smith? The disappointment in this test match was the involvement of a player like Smith in such unwanted incidence. Smith was seen taking to umpires when they questioned Bancroft. Latter in the after-match press meet, the Aussie captain admitted their “pre-planned” strategy to temper the ball in order to make umpires decide to provide a new ball.
The outcome was sharp. With senior players from around the globe, especially Australia, are united against Smith and his game plan. They are being sharply vocal. Even a “shocked and bitterly disappointed” Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull could not refrain from commenting strongly against the incident. He openly appealed Cricket Australia to act adequately. Under such circumstances, ICC handing down three demerit points to Bancroft and suspending Smith from the next match is appearing only like ripples ahead of a big wave.
Several news claimed Smith’s murkier future in international cricket. He was charged under Article 2.2.1 of ICC Code of Conduct. The captain is slapped with two suspension points, equating to four demerit points. He is suspended from the next Test and in the ongoing test as well, he would not be playing as the captain. Both Smith and David Warner stepped down from their designations for the rest of the game, handing team’s leadership to Tim Paine. Smith is stripped off 100% of his match fee.
ICC CEO David Richardson said that decision made by leadership group of team Australia is a clear contrast to sprit of the game. He termed the offence as ‘serious’ causing significant damage to integrity of the match, players and the sport itself. He warned Smith imposing him to take full responsibility for the actions of his players, saying “it is appropriate that he be suspended.”
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