The custodians of the laws of cricket, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has called the role of Australia captain Steve Smith in the ball tampering scandal shameful.
International Cricket Council (ICC) handed out a one-match ban and a fine of 100 percent match fee for tainted skipper Steve Smith and 75 percent for opener Cameron Bancroft; after Bancroft was caught on camera, altering the condition of the ball, during the 3rd day’s play of the third Test between Australia and South Africa.
Later, Steve Smith and Bancroft admitted to their roles and Smith said that the leadership group came up with the idea to do so, in desperation of getting the game on their side.
“We welcome the swift action by the match officials, ICC and Cricket Australia in response to the admission of ball tampering by senior Australia players,” MCC Assistant Secretary, (Cricket) John Stephenson was quoted as saying on lords.org.
He further added, “The time has come for a major shift in attitude and culture of all those with responsibility for leadership within the game, to give young players the kind of role models who will uphold standards, preserve cricket and, vitally, the Spirit of Cricket for future generations.”
“Law 41 also places upon the captains of both sides the responsibility for ensuring that play is carried out in accordance with the spirit of the game as well as within the laws,” said MCC assistant secretary John Stephenson.
The MCC also took a strong note of the unwanted controversies that happened during the Australia and South Africa series. From Kagiso Rabada’s shouldering of Steve Smith, to the altercation between David Warner and Quinton de Kock; the series has been full of tension between the two sides.
“The behaviour of some of the players in the current South Africa/Australia series, and other incidents in recent times in the game we all cherish, has fallen well below the standard required to inspire future generations of cricket-loving families,” Stephenson said.
Steve Smith stepped down from captaincy for the remainder of third Test, which Australia lost by 322 runs and was also replaced by Ajinkya Rahane as captain of Rajasthan Royals, the IPL franchise he was to lead next month.