Does anyone else agree with me that it is extraordinary that Steve Smith has not resigned on the spot – or more to the point that Cricket Australia have not sacked him immediately for his part in the ball tampering affair?
We all need to know who makes up the sordid, grubby “leadership team” that plotted this decision to tamper with the ball as they slipped towards defeat against South Africa. And Cameron Bancroft is an adult – let’s not absolve him from blame saying he is just an innocent pawn in the whole affair. We English remember the part he played in the Jonny Bairstow “headbutt” scandal that never was, and the way he and Steve Smith chortled. Bancroft should take responsibility for his actions too.
Depending on who makes up the “leadership team” in Australia’s test side, those players should be ashamed of themselves and be willing to take the hit for a catastrophic decision. That should start with Smith and his vice-captain David Warner, and the rest should follow.
But this has turned into a credibility issue for the players and governing body now. My media training might advise to apologise quickly and move on, but this is unlikely to just blow over when the media storm dies down. Would any IPL side want to employ Smith or Warner after this? The only reason Cricket Australia are dragging their feet is that these two players are crucial to the country’s future success. So was Ben Stokes to England but at least the right decision was made to leave him out of the Ashes series.
It may be that Smith and Warner do continue in non-leadership roles for Australia’s 3 teams after this, but they are forever tainted with a stain of deceit. And CA should look after their own interests and act swiftly so that their credibility stays intact.
The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and ABC’s legendary and respected commentator Jim Maxwell called it right with their distress, upset and indignation that the country’s image had been brought so low.
Whether you are media training professional or not, there is only one answer to this crisis, and my guess is that Australian cricket will be without the services of some of its biggest names for some time – if not forever!