And we all believed that cricket was a gentleman’s game!
It never was and it can never be with the kind of revenue it generates and the expectations hovering around cricketers. What Steve Smith and Co. hatched during the 3rd Test against South Africa was always on the cards. In consultation with the leadership management, Cameron Bancroft was ball-tampering, in a bid to rough up one side of the ball. The plan was well discussed during the lunch break on Day 3. Soon after the incident came to the limelight, Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith admitted to their crime.
Cricket Australia took quick action and asked Smith and Warner to step down as captain for the remaining two days of the Test match. Later in the day, the International Cricket Council (ICC) handed a one-match suspension to Smith and fined 100 percent of his match fee.
Now that brings us to the moot question, has ICC been too lenient on the Australian skipper at a time when cricket is suffering from trust deficit? Or ICC does not have it in them to take on Cricket Australia like they can’t take on BCCI?
It is not that ball-tampering is new to cricket, it has been there, in fact, legends have also played party to it in the past and got away with a minor fine.
Should ICC have taken stringent action against the players in question keeping the situation in mind?
During such times should the two celebrated Aussie cricketers be allowed to lead their franchises in the upcoming IPL season? If that happens won’t that set the wrong precedent?
Both the IPL franchises the respective players will lead have responded and here is their response.
Ranjit Barthakur, Executive Chairman, Rajasthan Royals
“We have been made aware of the controversy of ball tampering in the ongoing Australia – South Africa series and await further instructions from BCCI, before we make any announcement. We at Rajasthan Royals will not tolerate any actions that are unfair by definition and bring disrepute to the game of cricket. Our Zero tolerance policy applies to everyone in our team. Please bear with us.”
Official Media Statement – Rajasthan Royals
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) March 25, 2018
IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla has also given a public statement where he has said any decision on the two cricketers will wait for ICC, Cricket Australia’s verdict before taking a call.
On ball tampering issue, Ipl will wait for the decision of ICC and will act accordingly
— Rajeev Shukla (@ShuklaRajiv) March 25, 2018
Former cricketers have bashed the ICC for being lenient on the two-star cricketers. Here is what they reckoned.
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) March 25, 2018
A little birdie tells me that the weak ICC punishment isn’t anywhere near what Cricket Australia is thinking….
— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) March 25, 2018
I didn’t believe in the death penalty until I heard about the Australian cricket ball-tampering scandal
— Guy Williams (@guywilliamsguy) March 26, 2018
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
The entire cricketing world will now have their eyes on ICC to see their response. As the world is echoing sentiments of having a stringent ban clamped on the cricketers, the ICC’s move remains to be seen.