The recent ball-tampering scandal hugely hurt the Australian cricket. That one incident was enough to break the strong side. Australian cricket team is now desperate to move on from the recent controversies as they provided a respectful gesture before the beginning of the fourth and final Test of the ongoing series.
From the last weekend, the ball-tampering incident and the related news are dominating in the cricket world. After the investigation, Cricket Australia (CA) has suspended skipper Steven Smith and vice-captain David Warner (for 12 months) along with the Test opener Cameron Bancroft (for nine months).
In the addition, CA also announced that Smith and Bancroft will have to wait one more year after the end of their suspensions to able for leading the national side once again, while Warner will never be able to lead the national side again.
The fourth and final Test of the series between the hosts South Africa and Australia at Johannesburg is now running. On the day 1 (Friday) of the fourth Test, Australia and South African cricketers shook hands with each other before the beginning of the game. It was the plan of Australian stand-in skipper Tim Paine, who has taken the leadership charge after Smith and Warner’s suspensions.
Talking about that, Paine said, “Cricket’s a gentleman’s game. I spoke to our players about bringing it in. It’s not something we’ll do every Test match but I think it’s not a bad way to start a Test series. I think it’s just a good show of sportsmanship and respect.”
The wicketkeeper added, “There’s been a lot of water under the bridge and a bit of tension between the two sides. We want to be super-competitive but we also want to respect the opposition and it was important to show that today.”
On the other hand, Australian head coach Darren Lehmann has decided to step down from his role after the ongoing final Test at Johannesburg. However, he was cleared of the charge of any involvement in that ball-tampering scandal.
Talking about their preparation for the final Test, Lehmann spoke out, “We’re not a hundred percent mentally right but we’re representing our country and we’ve got to get the ball rolling by playing the best cricket we possibly can.”
The world cricket is now also standing with the Australian cricket team as CA’s recent stands against the tainted Australian cricketers are seeming harsh.
Australian legendary spinner Shane Warne recently wrote in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph: “We are all so hurt and angry and maybe we weren’t so sure how to react. We’d just never seen it before.
“But the jump to hysteria is something that has elevated the offence beyond what they actually did, and maybe we’re at a point where the punishment just might not fit the crime.”
Also, South African captain Faf du Plessis, Indian cricketers Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir, former Australian coach and present Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur also came to support the Australian cricketers. Many former cricketers have shared the same views.
Recently, a British newspaper The Times had a headline “Dear Australia, that’s enough now: This was ball-tampering, not murder”.