CHENNAI: Since Cameron Bancroft tampered with the ball on Day 3 of the third Test in Cape Town and skipper Steve Smith admitted to the same at the end of day’s play, social media has been abuzz with calls to ban the ones responsible.
On Wednesday, Cricket Australia finally announced its verdict. Steve Smith, David Warner were slapped with 12-month bans from all international and domestic cricket. Bancroft was suspended for nine months as CA cracked the whip on the errant trio.
Former India players think the CA has taken the right decision by announcing exemplary punishments, which should act as a deterrent for those who think of doing forbidden things with the ball. They also think the ICC should be stricter when dealing with these issues would be making the issue as big as match-fixing. But fact remains that cheating is not acceptable. Players involved in this case were leaders of the team as well as role models for youngsters all over the world. No individual is bigger than the game,” former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad told Express.
ICC rules mandate that punishment for a player caught altering the condition of the ball is two levels below the most harsh level. “ICC rules definitely need a revision. This is a grey area where many a times players try and take advantage. Such a verdict from CA will serve as a deterring factor for all players and the ICC needs to follow suit,” the former opener added.
However, former opening batsman Aakash Chopra said the bans were excessive in nature but admitted that a few ICC rules need to be looked at. “Ball tampering with sweet saliva is done by all teams and there is no point in denying that anymore. But using external objects is against the law and such acts need punishment. Removing players caught in the act for the remainder of the series or a multi-game ban is fine. Maybe the ICC should treat ball tampering with external objects as a separate issue and deal with it separately.”
The three Australian players are permitted to play club cricket “to maintain links with the cricket community”. The CA decision meant that they could play in T20 leagues across the world, although the BCCI has announced that for them the IPL door is closed, as of now.
“BCCI’s hands were tied in this case. They had no choice,” said Gaekwad. “All the private leagues should follow the same diktat, or else ban will hold no significance.”