Former Australian coach – John Marshall Buchanan on Wednesday said that he feels a bit sympathetic towards Steve Smith, who has been suspended along with the vice-captain David Warner for 12 months following their involvement in the ball tampering scandal in South Africa.
Cameron Bancroft, who was caught on camera using yellow tape on day three of the Cape Town Test and having accepted his guilt, received a nine-month ban for his act.
Buchanan told Omnisport, "Firstly, he and Warner instigated cheating and the book should be thrown at them for that. On the other side, Smith is a young man and a poster boy of Australian cricket. Passionate about cricket and the baggy green. He was a developing leader.”
Former Australian World Cup-winning coach further said of Smith, “He was making generally good decisions on and off the field. Overall, he was reasonably well respected by team-mates and people outside of the Australian cricket team.”
The axed skipper has received widespread criticism, but Buchanan, who coached Australia from 1999 to 2007, said he sympathizes with Smith, as his image that he built up over time has been now outshined following his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.
The former right-hander further added, “In that respect, there's sympathy because in a moment of unfathomable decision-making, he's basically taken everything he loved and built up over time and cast huge shadows over it. He will have time to reflect on that.”
Buchanan signed off by saying, “In the end, he will have to reflect upon what he's done and how he will make amends. Hopefully, he can arrive at those decisions and I would expect, given his passion for the game, we will see him back playing again but definitely not in a leadership role.”