Moments after the International Cricket Council (ICC) handed out a one-Test ban to Australia skipper Steve Smith for his involvement in the ‘Sandpaper Gate’ scandal, fans and pundits across the globe were divided on the quantum of punishment handed out to a captain who anchored the nasty act and led a 25-year-old to take one for the team.
Ex-Australian pace bowling great Jeff Thomson, however, feels that the strongest punishment should meted out to Smith.
“They should not get a match penalty, they should just get flicked. I don’t care who they are, they should be just see ya later,” an angry Jeff Thomson was quoted by 9news.com.au.
“It’s a slur on everyone who’s ever played cricket. They’re like spoilt brats if it doesn’t go their way, they spit the dummy, whinge about it, carry on stupidly.”
Smith was fined his entire match fee too but that didn’t seem justified enough for several sections of the cricketing fraternity. Smith’s admission later in the press conference that tampering the ball was a pre-meditated move with the decision-makers aware of the act simply escalated the tension.
This was neither the first instance of ball tampering nor the sneakiest. So what makes this so sensational and why would claims seeking a life ban on Smith emerge from across the globe? The answer is perhaps the manner in which it came across as a well-orchestrated move and a skipper leading an eight-Test old player to engage in the act.