Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has admitted that he was “shocked” by the ball tampering incident that involved Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
Given that the trio plotted and went forth with their plan to use sandpaper to alter condition of the ball on the third day of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town, Smith and Warner were banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.
In addition to this, Smith will not be permitted to captain Australia for two years, while Warner won’t be considered for leadership roles ever again.
“This is the first time I have actually answered a single question about what’s happened in South Africa over the last couple of weeks,” Ponting, who is gearing up to coach the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL), was quoted as saying by sacricketmag.com. “At the end of the day as a past player and as a former captain I was obviously quite shocked to see what actually took place out there on the field. The pleasing thing to me is that all this issue is starting to come to an end.
“We in Australia like to play the game hard and we like to play the game fair and our fans expect Australian players [to] play that way.”
Interestingly, Ponting pointed out that nothing was mentioned about “cultural problems” within the Australian team after they beat England 4-0 in the Ashes.
“I think the reaction back in Australia was as big as it was because I think the Australian public felt the Australian players hadn’t played the game in a fair way,” he added. “The cultural issue for me is a really interesting thing. Because when you wound the clock back just a couple of months when Australia won the Ashes there was no talk about cultural problems or issues whatsoever.
“So I think a lot of times these cultural things get blown out of proportion and get spoken about a lot when the reality of the dressing room is completely different from what is actually spoken about all the time.”