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Legendary Australia pace bowler Jeff Thompson has called for captain Steve Smith to be banned for life for his role in the ball tampering scandal that has rocked the cricketing community.
In addition to Smith, Thompson feels that everyone else involved should suffer the same fate.
Smith and Australia opener Cameron Bancroft admitted that they had attempted to change the condition of the ball after the latter was seen taking a mysterious yellow paper-like item out of his pocket and putting it down his trousers on the third day of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
Cricket Australia have launched an investigation and have promised further action.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) also took action against Smith and Bancroft as Smith was banned for one Test and fined 100 percent of his match fee, while Bancroft was docked 75 percent of his match fee and handed three demerit points.
“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,” Thompson told A Current Affair as quoted by 9 News. “It’s a slur on everyone who’s ever played cricket.
“They’re like spoilt brats if it doesn’t go there way, they spit the dummy, whinge about it, carry on stupidly.”
Meanwhile, ex-Australia all-rounder Greg Matthews described the incident as one of the “lowest moments ever”.
“Australian cricket is in the doldrums now. One of lowest efforts ever, lowest moments ever,” he said. “As far as worse things go, it’s certainly in the grand final.”
Matthews, who gave Smith his first-class cap for New South Wales, believes that while the Australian skipper will recover from the incident, it will remain as a permanent stain on his reputation going forward.
“This guy loves the game, trains more than anyone else, thinks about it more than anyone else, he’s not sleeping well at night thinking about the game of cricket, he’s not going to be sleeping too well for a while now,” he said. “Clearly the greatest punishment Smith will face is that for the rest of his life, this will haunt him.”