Australia have been smashed by 373 runs in Abu Dhabi to hand Pakistan a 1-0 series win.
Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
The four have spoken and yet we are no closer to the full truth, but at least they managed to elicit some empathy and sympathy for (some of) those involved.
Cam Bancroft has been all but exonerated in the eyes of the public, Steve Smith has far more sympathisers than not, Darren Lehmann has the inverse proportion to his former captain and David Warner has no one.
It’s amazing how this has panned out. The captain, the man charged with leading his team on and off the field and who knew what was going on will, in time, come out of this the best out of everyone. I say this as I do not believe Bancroft will be picked in an Australian team ever again.
Warner has been labelled the ‘ringleader’ and the ‘mastermind’ in the past few days but none of that really holds much weight when it happened under the captains eye.
He’s the villain because we don’t like him as much as we like Smith, because we wanted to watch him fall on his arse and because the story needed one. For what it’s worth, after watching the T20 tri-series the year, I believe Warner was a far better tactical captain than Smith.
The remorse Smith showed in his press conference was clearly sincere, but that only allows him sympathy as a person going through a terrible period in his life, it does not excuse his actions before, during and after the incident.
As an aside, Smith having his father by his side during the presser was as calculated as anything Cricket Australia have done since the story broke.
We may not know the what really happened for months or years down the track as it appears CA has shut up shop but they deserve to all be left alone for now (for the record, this feels somewhat hypocritical as I’m not sure the much needed clean out would have happened if the media and public hadn’t latched onto this story like rabid dogs).
In the end, there are no ‘villains’ in this story, there’s three people who made some horrible decisions and are now paying the price.