Cricket: Australian ball tampering scandal

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

Even the genteel sport of cricket is not immune from cheating as Cricket Australia (CA) imposes bans for ball tampering in the Third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Australian Captain, Steve Smith, and, Vice-Captain, David Warner, have been banned for 12 months for roughing up the ball with sandpaper, contrary to article 2.3.5. of the CA Code of Conduct.

The sandpaper, which apparently is often in a player’s kit bag, was hidden in fellow Australian opening batsman Cameron Bancroft’s trousers, resulting in a ban being imposed on him of 9 months, again under article 2.3.5. of the CA Code of Conduct.

Smith and Warner have also been ordered by CA to do 100 hours’ voluntary service in community cricket. In addition, they have also been banned from playing this year in the lucrative Indian Premier League.

The CA chairman, David Peever, issued the following statement to the media:

“The CA board understands and shares the anger of fans and the wider Australian community about these events.

They go to the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport and the penalties must reflect that.

These are significant penalties for professional players and the board does not impose them lightly. It is hoped that following a period of suspension, the players will be able to return to playing the game they love and eventually rebuild their careers.”

The Chief Executive of CA, James Sutherland, has stated that he believes that this is an isolated incident of cheating and that he has no intention of resigning as he has a job to do.

CA are to be congratulated on taking such swift and effective action as soon as the ball tampering scandal came to light and, for the sake of the millions of cricket-loving fans worldwide, one would, indeed, hope that this scandal turns out to be just an isolated incident!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’