Australia, not Steve Smith, owes me an apology

Tex Redmund Roar Rookie

By Tex Redmund, Tex Redmund is a Roar Rookie

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77 Have your say

    On a steaming hot day a young kid wearing thongs, short stubbies, a terry towelling hat and undersized T-shirt eagerly perches atop his dad’s Esky on the hill of the Gabba.

    Unfamiliar with and a little unnerved by the volume of invidious banter that will soon learn is commonplace as the drink accumulates and the day grows longer at the cricket, he still can’t look away from the middle of the ground, and he stands to applaud as an Englishman dispatches his soon-to-be hero, Dennis Lillee, to the boundary.

    Okay, I clearly had no idea what I was doing there, but I was hooked. Test cricket was for me, and as the years passed the first day of the first Test became a pilgrimage for myself and my friends.

    But as we grew older and pay cheques no longer funded weekend binges but families and mortgages, friend after friend found time too scarce to continue their joy for the game. Not me, though. My love affair continued, and I have travelled the country and the world enraptured watching the baggy greens in play.

    Following the events of the last week, though, I fear that this will no longer be the case, and I’m not happy about it, not one little bit.

    I want an apology because I am angry at the very real threat of losing a great love of my life.

    James Sutherland

    (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

    The idea of watching the cricket now makes me feel ill. I just can’t face the notion of it. My reasons are in stark contrast to those others are contending. Due to the appalling treatment of particularly Steve Smith, I am now associating the game with so many of the worst examples of human behaviour a person can muster.

    If there’s a positive to come from this, academics in the behavioural sciences now have a ready-made case study of the ease with which the media can instil mass hysteria and loathing in an unquestioning population. Let’s start with that.

    Many in the media relentlessly and sensationally demonised the actual event beyond all context, deliberately whipping up public hysteria for the sole purpose of selling more copy or achieving higher ratings. Little if any care was paid to their misrepresentations or of the clearly possible consequences for the targeted ‘villains’ or their families. This simply is not of their concern.

    Next for me is both tragic and depressing. The fervour and intoxicated willingness of an unquestioning, staggeringly blinkered and hypocritical, lemming-like public to embrace and progress this hysteria in an insatiable blood lust in the guise of some perceived national moral crusade.

    In doing so they conveniently ignore example after example of evidence indicating that this nation’s perceived high morality and integrity is very, very different from its reality. All of this, again, while not remotely caring for the clearly possible consequences to the so-called villains and their family.

    David Warner

    (Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

    The reaction from the public beggared belief. These guys weren’t people in positions of trusted power deceiving life savings from investors, as has recently occurred in the banks. There’s a senior figure of the Catholic church currently before the courts charged with multiple historical sexual assault offences, and even he’s been subject to less media and public scrutiny.

    We all hear the rhetoric of the sanctity of the dressing room, of the players being closer than blood relatives, yet not one of these teammates, past or present, has publicly stood up to defend the portrayed villains.

    All are hiding from or pandering to the sensationalist, pitch-fork wielding, vile-spewing accusers instead of standing and offering, “Actually, while arguably not routine, the practice of ball tampering is not that uncommon. Perhaps you should do a little research and back off from the boys a bit.”

    Brett Geeves in his Fox Sports opinion piece is the only ex-player to my knowledge to offer any truth into the relatively common and generally accepted offence in the cricket community.

    All of this behaviour ultimately led of course to an experienced, match-hardened grown man whose job role would state, “Constant exposure to relentless media pressure”, to break down in tears in just that situation.

    Steve Smith

    (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)

    What happened next? Many thankfully saw the wrong of their ways, but not everyone did, and those who came to the realisation are not necessarily the most influential among us.

    The very same hate-mongering, irresponsible journalists opted to fake some sympathy but none suggested, “Okay, everyone should back off now and give these guys a break”. Not one admitted some form of responsibility for a human being’s breakdown or for the possible serious mental health issues ensuing.

    “No, we did the right thing”, they contend. “We suggested everyone should calm down!”.

    Once the hounds are released, though, they don’t simply return at a whistle. Many smell blood and they like it. The harassment of these players will slow, but it won’t stop. They will now be hounded at restaurants, at traffic lights and at shops. Their children will be bullied. Why? They had the audacity to seek a questionable advantage on a sporting field – which brings me to the arguments posed.

    “Okay, but ultimately they cheated!”
    Yes, guilty as charged. I agree that they deserve the full force of the cricketing law for their indiscretion, perhaps even the maximum penalty, which of course entails a one-game suspension and a fine.

    Yes, the world governing body for the sport sees ball tampering as such a minor indiscretion that it warrants at the most a one-game suspension, that’s it.

    Some legends of the game have been charged with this indiscretion too – the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Mike Atherton, Rahul Dravid and Waqar Younis, and of course let’s not forget that current South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has faced this penalty twice.

    “But it was planned cheating! They conspired to do it!”
    Again, guilty as charged – but come on, folks, do you really believe that such behaviour is uncommon in world sport, rightly or wrongly?

    Let’s look at NRL footy. Each team dedicated much of their preseason training practising and perfecting their ability to cheat – perfecting when and how to be penalised for a number of indiscretions when defending their try line, allowing them to reset their defensive structure. How is this different? It is arguably worse.

    “They’ve shamed Australia’s morals and integrity!”
    This one is my favourite. It’s the one that really has the bile churning in my belly. Suddenly the game that has attracted ample articles predicting its demise and irrelevance is now the litmus for a nation’s integrity.

    Interesting how scratching the side of a ball is of more relevance here than, say, the overseas detention of asylum seekers, the pilfering the valuable natural resources of an impoverished neighbour, the third-world health and education conditions for our first Australians, the financial exploitation of vulnerable foreign workers – the list goes on.

    No, all that is irrelevant. These guys roughed up the side of a ball. They’ve shamed us all!

    Such depressing, alarming reactions and behaviours are all so horrible, and all of this is now associated in my mind with the game I’ve loved for as long as I can remember – a game that, whenever I think of it, harbours just these unpalatable, disturbing associations.

    It is a game that now, thanks to this, I just cannot stomach the thought of watching. I don’t deserve this, and I want an apology.

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    The Crowd Says (77)

    • April 6th 2018 @ 3:34am
      Clyde said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:34am | ! Report

      Did you even read the charge sheet against them. They signed a code of conduct and smeared that through the mud, end of story.

      They ultimately revealed their lack of a proper upbringing mixed with the toxic cultural team problem. Let them do their time and speak about this next season if anyone remembers.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 4:11am
        MH01 said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:11am | ! Report

        Welcome to today’s society – governing body finds the incident to be worth a match suspension – trial by media gets you 12 months , cause it’s not about the rules but people’s “feeling” being hurt .

        All the people out there , who are shocked , and offended by this, must have never played cricket , bless that you think that that lovely reverse swing is all natural …… and that the ball is never tempered with in all grades of cricket…. it’s part of the game . And it’s worth a one game suspension, cause it’s that common .

        I love the hypocrisy around this from around the world, each major cricket country has senior player that was guilty of ball tempering ….. though what smith did was a NEW level….. ha ha ha – the only thing they are guilty of is stupidity of using yellow paper ! Give them 2 matches for that .

        • April 6th 2018 @ 6:36am
          mushi said | April 6th 2018 @ 6:36am | ! Report

          1. That governing body was an international body. Australia regularly departs from the standards set by international bodies in a legal sense and we most definitely have a different social conventions. Expecting us to have the same baseline as India is baffling. Hypocrisy would be identifying as Australian and then suggesting that Australia has no discernible difference in social or legal systems to the rest of the world. Welcome to today’s society of pick and choose.

          2. Okay no trial by media. But wait, isn’t close to 100% of their income generated by being a media product? Didn’t’ they just threaten industrial action to get a greater share of the income generated by media. I had no problem with their negotiating tactics, nor with them getting paid millions. But it is hypocrisy of the grandest order to then asked to be shielded from the media in tough times when you reap it’s benefits during your halcyon days. Welcome to today’s society of pick and choose.

          3. If you don’t agree you must not know about cricket. Because everyone cheats. This is one where we agree I notice that amongst the people I know those supporting Warner and co are all guys that played Cricket at a decent level and said well everyone cheats. But to again delve into your faux outrage on the hypocrisy weren’t Smith and Warner bald faced liars when they said we don’t cheat and that we knew where the line was?

          It also raises a broader issue. High grade cricketers are basically all admitting that they are, at best, “morally flexible” and repeatedly made the decision to cheat to gain advantage never the course of their lives. Doesn’t that mean you should never trust a single person that played cricket at a high level because they have been conditioned to believe in cheating as being a reasonable action.

          But of course in a job interview they’d all hypocritically say that playing cricket at a high level helped build their character and integrity… Welcome to today’s society of pick and choose.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 7:40am
            Kangajets said | April 6th 2018 @ 7:40am | ! Report

            The media and public are the reason they get paid to play a game

            It’s a privilege to play a game and earn a living from it … follow the rules , like we all have to do at work

          • April 6th 2018 @ 4:57pm
            MH01 said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

            1. It does not matter if you are Indian, English , kiwi, ausssie, we all play to the same rules – society has nothing to do with it – same punishment for all , under the same rules – the we are better than x society is hypocritical

            2.trial by media – not verdict by media – they got 12 months cause people’s feelings got hurt over the this horrific event .

            3. So when you pick up a CV , Someone applying for a job, it’s facts ? I’m yet to find an honest CV – so let’s not be hypocritical about these blokes when stretching the truth happens on a daily basis to get ahead .

            • April 9th 2018 @ 7:58am
              mushi said | April 9th 2018 @ 7:58am | ! Report

              “1. It does not matter if you are Indian, English , kiwi, ausssie, we all play to the same rules – society has nothing to do with it – same punishment for all , under the same rules – the we are better than x society is hypocritical”

              First your misguided straw man isn’t hypocritical, as you outlined a scenario where the only factual difference was having higher standards. For it to be hypocritical you need to also highlight accepted behaviour was contrary to this point. Self-important, perhaps if you’d done a better job of the straw man, but not hypocritical.

              It is also incredibly misguided and untrue.

              The teams are definitely held to different rules of law under their contracts, the codes of conduct are not uniform around the world and as media figures the positive and negative consequences of their actions are definitely viewed differently as the places they live and the places they draw their income from have completely different social norms.

              Also I didn’t say better, I said different. If there is literally no difference in social or legal systems between countries then identifying as “Australian” is just baffling as there is nothing that differentiates Australia in your mind.

              The players agree by the way as they have repeatedly declared to the world that Australia does have different standards when it comes to the behaviour of our cricketers on the field.

              “2.trial by media – not verdict by media – they got 12 months cause people’s feelings got hurt over the this horrific event .”

              Um no the verdict still came from CA. The “trial” in trial by media is the cause (as you outline) the verdict is the effect.

              Did “the media” influence the outcome of decision by a body entirely dependent on the media for commercial existence? Sure. Kind of like how a trial influences the outcome of judgement or verdict…

              “3. So when you pick up a CV , Someone applying for a job, it’s facts ? I’m yet to find an honest CV – so let’s not be hypocritical about these blokes when stretching the truth happens on a daily basis to get ahead “

              So do you not worry that your response to a point which was essentially posing the question “does high grade cricket encourage people to become morally flexible and should we take that into account when looking to hire people” your response was basically “of course”. You’ve just admitted that you are inherently dishonest and surround yourself with inherently dishonest people and believe that to be the case with most cricketers, I’m assuming by your phrasing you’d consider yourself a “cricketer” at some point in your life.

              This is not a good thing.

              As to the “honest CV”. If you ever get the opportunity to seriously apply, or interview, for a positon that could potentially expose your employer to material risks… do not adopt your policy of “CV’s are meant to be dishonest”. Doing so will open to criminal charges and pretty significant personal liability.

              Mine is definitely honest. Every job I’ve applied for since adulthood had a rigorous fact check and multiple interviews and reference checks to test the “opinion” aspects of your CV. I am also of the view that “lying” during the recruitment process is pointless as the inevitable outcome is that you’re put in a position which you are not actual suitable for, are likely to not enjoy and have just started your work “relationship” from a position of complete dishonesty.

              I’d happily defend the veracity of my CV.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 6:46am
          Ouch said | April 6th 2018 @ 6:46am | ! Report

          Have 100 recommends.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 6:55am
          Stu said | April 6th 2018 @ 6:55am | ! Report

          Ball Tampering
          Lying to umpires when caught
          Lying at press conference about what they did and who did it
          Costs employer millions of dollars.

          If someone costs you a load of money are you ok to just let that slide?

          • April 6th 2018 @ 7:41am
            Kangajets said | April 6th 2018 @ 7:41am | ! Report

            Well said stu

          • April 6th 2018 @ 3:46pm
            Jacko said | April 6th 2018 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

            ACB cost themselves the $$ by being sucked in to the media trashings. If ACB allows the ICC to decide their fate then no one looses sponcers etc

            • Roar Rookie

              April 6th 2018 @ 9:38pm
              Roger said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:38pm | ! Report

              Lol

      • April 6th 2018 @ 6:24am
        Matt Davies said | April 6th 2018 @ 6:24am | ! Report

        A careful analysis of statement put out by CA reveals:

        1. Australia regularly use grains of earth stuck to tape to accelerate the ball’s natural wear on one of its sides.

        2. Smith did not know specifically about the sandpaper (note that none of the findings against Smith mention sandpaper whereas those against Warner and Bancroft do) . When he fronted up to the press during the match he believed Bancroft had been filmed using tape, not sandpaper. Warner and Bancroft had not yet come clean even to him.

        3. In this press conference he implicated the whole leadership group as he believed Bancroft had been caught doing something that they all knew about. Technically this was a “misleading comment” due to ignorance, not a lie. This also explains why the team later became so horrified with Warner.

        4. CA have legalistically decided that the practice described in 1 above does not constitute an “artificial” process for altering the condition of the ball. Helpfully this protects the rest of the team, the coach and the integrity of past results.

        5. CA have narrowly defined the misdemeanors in terms of trying to alter the ball’s condition using sandpaper. On this basis it can conclude that the affair was an isolated incident involving no more than three people.

        In this context, it seems to me that any club/county/franchise etc will be much better off signing on Steve Smith/Cameron Bancroft/David Warner than any of the “clean” Australian as they are much more likely to educate up and coming cricketers to the dangers of indulging in questionable tactics – one day they very team and management that tacitly supported your endeavors will set you up as a patsy

        • April 6th 2018 @ 8:56am
          Rob JM said | April 6th 2018 @ 8:56am | ! Report

          It looks like a power struggle between smith and an out of control warner. Warner wouldn’t own up so smith tries to take the heat of bancroft by saying he was under instructions, without naming names, only to make it worse. As for trying to cover it up, the on field reaction was just a panic moment, and then he has been the one trying to take responsibility. The opposite or warner and all the other cheats who claim they were innocent. Unfortunately Smith has been determined to be a man of his word and go down with the ship!

          • Roar Rookie

            April 6th 2018 @ 9:40pm
            Roger said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

            Wow, an out of control Warner. That’s neat and tidy woohoo, the rest of us are in the clear…

            • April 7th 2018 @ 2:53am
              Matt Davies said | April 7th 2018 @ 2:53am | ! Report

              Not exactly. An endemic practice of ball tampering tacitly condoned by everybody which Warner took one step farther. CA is now trying to demonize this extra step while not acknowledging the underlying problem

      • April 6th 2018 @ 6:54am
        Basil 1 of 2 said | April 6th 2018 @ 6:54am | ! Report

        “They ultimately revealed their lack of a proper upbringing”…. Really? Let’s burn the parents too!

        I hope you’ve sharpened your pitchfork, Clyde.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 7:40am
        Brendon said | April 6th 2018 @ 7:40am | ! Report

        “They ultimately revealed their lack of a proper upbringing mixed with the toxic cultural team problem. Let them do their time and speak about this next season if anyone remembers.”

        You can’t be serious. A dig at Warner?

        How dare a working class pauper get into the middle class Australian sport.

    • April 6th 2018 @ 5:11am
      northerner said | April 6th 2018 @ 5:11am | ! Report

      No, Australia doesn’t owe you an apology. Oddly, this is not about you. It’s about senior players with so little understanding of what cricket is about that they thought it was fine to cheat, and then to lie about it. Australia has played its cricket ugly for a long time, and many fans have had a bellyfull. The reaction of the public wasn’t driven by the media – it was a natural response to a sport they love being treated with contempt by those who should be some of its caretakers. And perhaps, just perhaps, other team members, former greats, and the general public haven’t leapt to the trio’s defence because there is no defence.

      Are the penalties harsh? Yes. But cheating is cheating, and I see no reason why Australia should minimize it just because other countries and the ICC (hardly an arbiter of moral authority) do.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 7:45am
        Brendon said | April 6th 2018 @ 7:45am | ! Report

        “No, Australia doesn’t owe you an apology. Oddly, this is not about you. It’s about senior players with so little understanding of what cricket is about ”

        Oh, god, the entitlement of Australian cricket fans. Some guy who probably never played anything higher than 4th grade cricket telling two of the best they don’t understand what cricket is about it.

        Its about the same thing as any sport – winning within the rules. Something Australia won’t be doing on the cricket field in the next few years. Watch the media turn on the players when they lose and fans walk away. Low crowds and low ratings.

        • Roar Guru

          April 6th 2018 @ 8:37am
          Matt H said | April 6th 2018 @ 8:37am | ! Report

          “Its about the same thing as any sport – winning within the rules”. Exactly, and they deliberately and with forward planning, broke those rules.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 6th 2018 @ 9:43pm
          Roger said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:43pm | ! Report

          Did you read what you wrote Brendon? Winning WITHIN the rules old sport, WITHIN…

    • April 6th 2018 @ 6:19am
      Liam said | April 6th 2018 @ 6:19am | ! Report

      First things first.

      I hate the way collective outrage has been seized by the media over the last ten or so years, in order to sell newspapers and ad space. I hate the way that members of the journalistic fraternity go from baying for blood, then inform Australia that we, not they, have gone too far; that after they have fanned the flames but refuse to accept responsibility for the fire they started. It’s clearly evident with the Adam Goodes booing catalogue of events, in that first they wildly sensationalised his statements as Australian of the Year, then they declared his celebration as ‘spear chucking’, before telling the AFL public that they were all racist for booing him (not a comprehensive summary, but not the topic of conversation).

      But, on the flip side, your experience does not measure up to my reality. Sure, you watch the game; have you spent much time playing it? I have; not at the elite, not even close to the highest level, but I’ve spent the better part of the last 20 years of my life playing, across 2 different clubs in 2 parts of Melbourne.

      And my reaction is very, very simple; Warner, Smith and Bancroft cheated, out of desperation and out of nothing more than the desire to win. I play, and I coach; I tell my players and my kids to play fair, to respect the achievements of good opposition, and ultimately to respect the game that has given me so much. This whole fiasco is the end result of a decade of sides wanting to be their predecessors, of every captain since Steve Waugh wishing they were him. They equated the hard edge of his team with the amount of games they won, not the quality of the cricket they played. They played harder and harder, through Clarke’s captaincy and now Smith’s, and they sought the win above all else.

      You’re sickened by the reactions of the Australian public, the “fervour and intoxicated willingness of an unquestioning, staggeringly blinkered and hypocritical, lemming-like public to embrace and progress this hysteria in an insatiable blood lust in the guise of some perceived national moral crusade.” I’m not unquestioning; I know it goes on, and always has. I’m not hysterical. But I have never sanctioned ball tampering, and I never will. It isn’t a crusade, it isn’t anything more for me than a single moral judgement; am I okay with what they did? Can I continue to support them if nothing outside of the standard ICC punishment is meted out?

      The answer for me is no.

      My reaction is not emotional anymore, but it was. After being as dismayed at the collective fury then the sympathy for everyone except Warner, I wrote an article on here concerning limiting the harrying of Warner while he and his family try to get on with their lives, something that will occur by the media you so decry. But you cannot dismiss what they did as something others have done; we are not those others. Brendan McCullum took his moral stand and said, “Not us, not anymore” on the subject of the deteriorating state of on field conduct around the world. Why can we not live by our own example of conduct we will not have out there? If South Africa is okay with Faf du Plessis ball tampering, if England is okay with Jimmy Anderson ball tampering, that’s fine for them.

      Not for us, not anymore. We have shown where our standards are here. I hope you recover your love of the game, Tex; that this episode doesn’t sicken you beyond your capacity to take it. But, for me at least, while I really do hope that the players are getting the help they need to ensure theirs and their family’s well-being, I cannot and I will not countenance cheating in a team I choose to follow.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 7:37am
        Kangajets said | April 6th 2018 @ 7:37am | ! Report

        Well said

        Enough is enough

        Some other sports should follow suit too

      • Roar Guru

        April 6th 2018 @ 8:39am
        Matt H said | April 6th 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        Very well said.

      • Roar Guru

        April 6th 2018 @ 8:39am
        Mango Jack said | April 6th 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        Good post, Liam. I hope you continue to coach junior players the right way to play the game, and that others will be inspired to do so as well.

        There are many aspects to this whole episode. Tex makes some valid points about media hysteria and hypocrisy, but the central point is that the players are guilty of premeditated cheating and lying about their actions, to officials and the public. All the comparisons to other players and countries does not absolve them of that. Maybe these 3 have become the fall guys, but like you, I cannot just accept that cheating is part of the game (and yes I have played a fair bit of cricket over 30+ years), and simply shrug my shoulders and accept it.

        If some good can be come out of this, it will be that a new standard has been set, and that other teams and governing bodies will have to follow it.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 10:16am
        Dom said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        Tex, I feel has misread this whole situation.
        I was going to respond but Liam, you’ve said it all very well.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 10:36am
        Johnno said | April 6th 2018 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        The trail and abuse by the media is astounding, but not surprising.

        I cannot agree that it is OK for England, and it’s OK for SA, and it’s OK for any other team to tamper with the ball…but its not OK for Australia. I understand the bit that Australia sets its own rules. We can lead by example….but I can guarantee that other countries won’t follow. Cricket in SA have backed their captain when he cheated as an example.

        In a competition, when you pit yourself against other teams, you should all play by the same rules…everyone. And that aint gunna happen.

        This is not a reason to go light by CA, it merely means that CA needs to be strong and unwavering in getting the ICC to bring in the same sanctions across the entire sport. And while they are at it, to introduce the NZ way of playing cricket.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 1:41pm
          Liam said | April 6th 2018 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

          We can only affect our own behavior, not anyone else’s.

          • April 6th 2018 @ 4:47pm
            Johnno said | April 6th 2018 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

            The powers to be can also make THE difference. You can’t have one set of rules for 1 team, and another set of rules for another team.

            So 1 country can go out, doctor the ball so it does weird things with only a minor penalty, no suspension, nothing that means they won’t do it again, continue to doctor the ball. The other team (Australia) have to bowl with a non doctored ball. Under the guise of “we can only affect our own behaviour, no one else’s”.

            Give me a break. What about the game of cricket?

            • Roar Rookie

              April 6th 2018 @ 9:45pm
              Roger said | April 6th 2018 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

              Unlike a decent wine Johnno, you aren’t improving with age.

            • April 7th 2018 @ 11:02am
              Liam said | April 7th 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              You are misunderstanding what I am saying.

              The ICC will not do anything to jeopardize their revenue streams. Audiences want to watch the best players. Suspending players for longer than two matches will reduce the numbers of people watching and betting, which reduces revenue.

              Therefore, the ICC will not do anything to stop cheating, unless it is something that is precedented; match-fixing, performance enhancing drugs, or suspect actions (only over the last few years, mind).

              We cannot change the conduct of other nations, not in the absence of ICC bans. We can only affect our own conduct, and our own style.

            • April 8th 2018 @ 7:09pm
              Ozinsa said | April 8th 2018 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

              That’s precisely what is being suggested Johnny. I’ve been through a number of views on this. I get defensive when SA or English friends decide to condescend and then I hope this is a moment for change.

              I’m over myself now and have decided it’s a line in the sand moment. We have a unique opportunity to change how we play cricket. Can the sledging, acknowledge opponents’ quality and skip the ball tampering. If this means we play at a disadvantage so be it.

              Also, maybe providing wickets that allow bowlers a fair crack solves the problem of needing to change the ball?

      • April 9th 2018 @ 8:44am
        Tex said | April 9th 2018 @ 8:44am | ! Report

        Ta for reading and for your thoughts, I of course respect your considered opinion. In respect to your questions, yes I have played some cricket. Through juniors and senior sub-districts to grade cricket in Australia, and minor-counties in England. At all levels I have encountered and practiced ball-tampering.

        At junior level, the likes of u/15s perhaps, I recall the legend of spraying 1 side of the ball with Mr Sheen or the like, and then bunging the ball into the freezer overnight. I have no idea if it was remotely effective, but it was tried almost weekly and sworn-by, by team-mates. I was utterly useless at picking the seam. Lacked the fingernails perhaps.

        What I did find was hair-product was highly effective. Load your hair with the stuff, then after you’ve worked up a bit of a sweat rub your hand through your hair and use the product loaded-sweat to ‘shine’ the ball. It was highly effective at weighing down one side of the ball and influencing its movement through the air.

        In my many years loving the game, i found that tampering isn’t routine, but it’s very common.

    • April 6th 2018 @ 6:29am
      Brad Pfingst said | April 6th 2018 @ 6:29am | ! Report

      Train 30 cameras on every player in every team around the world next year and see how much reverse swing we get.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 7:46am
        Brendon said | April 6th 2018 @ 7:46am | ! Report

        Then viewers will complain about high-scoring draws and how the bat dominates the ball.

      • Roar Guru

        April 6th 2018 @ 12:25pm
        Chris Kettlewell said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

        They only do that when the away team is fielding of course.

        I was reading a piece on cricinfo recently talking about how much of ball tampering allegations comes down to the host broadcaster. If video footage backing up charges don’t exist, nothing is proceeded with. Last time an umpire tried to charge a team with ball tampering based on what they’d observed rather than video evidence, it basically cost him his career. So it’s all down to the broadcaster capturing it, and, surprise, no player from a home team has ever been charged with ball tampering. You don’t actually usually have camera’s following the ball close up like that in between overs.

        One reason the ICC treats ball tampering as a slap on the wrist offense is likely that everyone does it, and it’s just when footage emerges of it they are forced to act, but knowing that it’s not because that player was doing anything that the others don’t do, just that the home broadcaster managed to catch footage of it, the idea of crucifying players for it is considered ridiculous, so a small sanction is applied and we move on.

        • April 6th 2018 @ 2:46pm
          Keeper said | April 6th 2018 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

          I’m 100 percent with you Chris. Another well articulated opinion.

        • April 7th 2018 @ 9:35am
          JimmyB said | April 7th 2018 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          Atherton was.

    • April 6th 2018 @ 6:30am
      Kangajets said | April 6th 2018 @ 6:30am | ! Report

      I get the feeling mate , that a lot of Aussie’s were over the ugly culture in Australia cricket , and finally someone has been made an example of . Imo ,,for pre meditatied cheating the suspension is close to the mark .

    • April 6th 2018 @ 6:39am
      Jay Pea said | April 6th 2018 @ 6:39am | ! Report

      Im writing in from Mumbai, India. Let me start by complimenting the author for presenting a valid viewpoint. It has been horrifying to witness the mass hysteria and horrendous coverage of the ball scruffing incidents. Can’t defend the players actions. But can’t defend the political pandemonium and moralistic outrage either.

      Of all the pressing matters the wonderful country of Australia is going through, the PM thought it prudent to slam your own players multiple times. I mean surely the prime minister of a nation will have more pressing matters to attend to rather than target sportsmen. At that point in time the information was still less than a day old, rather than take stock of the entire scenario the PM no less has to voice how it beggars belief that cheating had occurred. What beggars belief is you have nothing more important to focus your nations attention on, sir. From the PM downwards nearly everyone in the media and CA used these players as headlines to cover up their own failures. A failure to accept that the players are no worse than any of us. And that we have all cheated in some form or way. Even if someone hadn’t does it give us the right to destroy someone who has? This merciless and moralistic finger pointing is a bloody shame far greater than the actual mistake of the cricketers..

      Thanks for a passionate article. It is not just in Australia but in India too where things went a little bananas. Hasty decisions made by the IPL in hours instead of days.

      The only silver lining is that never again will many of us depend upon the Australian PM for any reliable leadership. We will instead wait for a week to pass and watch the politicians and all the media watch dogs make a mockery of their credibility.

      • April 6th 2018 @ 7:55am
        Brendon said | April 6th 2018 @ 7:55am | ! Report

        Were the IPL teams of Warner and Smith pressured into dropping them because of the hysteria in Australia?

      • Roar Guru

        April 6th 2018 @ 11:51am
        Mango Jack said | April 6th 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report

        Actually, JP, our PM’s reaction has everything to do with having more pressing matters. His political survival, to be precise. I doubt he was as outraged as he made out, but thought it necessary to join in the rock throwing lest he appeared “out of touch”, which these days in the most damning indictment you can make against a political leader.

        It’s strange, you state that you “can’t defend the players actions”, but you then seem to go on and do just that. We may have all cheated in some form or other, but to do so in such a premeditated way, in such an important setting, and to then repeatedly lie about it, deserves the punishment they got, in my opinion. Collectively, the game of cricket needs to draw a line in the sand against this and other insidious behaviour. I won’t go as far as to congratulate CA for this, as I believe they did it more in response to public opinion than from any moral stand.

      • Roar Guru

        April 6th 2018 @ 12:28pm
        Chris Kettlewell said | April 6th 2018 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

        For the Prime Minister it’s all down to misdirection. I suspect he made use of the distraction of the cricket thing to sneak through some dodgy legislation without people noticing. Politicians will always jump on something like this to try and distract from the mess they are making of running the country.

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