Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade on Sunday (April 29) thanked his stars for not being part of the national cricket team that got caught in the ball-tampering scandal during the Cape Town Test against South Africa last month.
Following the investigation, Cricket Australia (CA) had issued severe punishments on the convicted trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. While Smith and Warner were banned for one-year, Bancroft was barred from international cricket for a period of 9-month.
"You want to be playing for Australia, but there was certainly a part of me that was feeling a touch lucky I wasn't there (in Cape Town)," Wade quoted as saying by News Corp.
"When I came in, the game was a lot different, there's no doubt about that. But now the game is moving in a different direction and certainly with the stuff that's happened in South Africa I will look at the way I go about it," he added.
The 30-year-old Wade also put forward his views on the matter and hoped that the national team “don't go too far the other way “.
"When I got back into the team (after five straight losses in 2016), there was a lot of media and public stir about how they wanted the team to have a crack through that period. They felt like we were rolling over a little bit," Wade asserted.
"I hope now we don't go too far the other way and lose all our drive and try and play like New Zealand. Every team needs a bit of competitiveness on the field. What happened in South Africa wasn't a good look. But I just think we need to be careful about what direction we go in from here," he elaborated.
In the aftermath of the disgraceful scandal, former Australia coach Darren Lehmann had said that the New Zealand model needed to be taken if Australia wants to rebuild their tainted image in world cricket.
"The thing for me would be if we take a leaf out of someone like, say, New Zealand's book, the way they play and respect the opposition. We do respect the opposition but we push the boundaries on the ground. So we've got to make sure we're respecting the game, its traditions, and understanding [how] the game holds itself around the world," Lehmann had told reporters.
It is worth mentioning here that cameras had caught Bancroft using a foreign object, which was later revealed to be sandpaper, to work on the ball during the Newlands Test last month.
Video aired by the official broadcaster had shown Bancroft using a small, yellow object hidden in his palm, as he rubbed the ball with his palm and then onto his trousers. He was then seen transferring something from that palm into his right pocket.
In a shocking press conference after the day's play, Smith had admitted that the entire ball-tampering saga was a deliberate plan from the “leadership group” of the side. Moreover, he had apologized and tried to convince everyone that this was the first time it had happened under his captaincy.
Subsequently, Smith was handed a one-match suspension and fined 100% of his match fee by the International Cricket Council (ICC), while rookie Bancroft was penalized 75 percent of his match fee and awarded three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct.