The drama surrounding the sandpaper gate is getting new stories with every development. After South African skipper Faf du Plessis spoke about his doubts over Australia pertaining to ball tampering in the other Test matches as well, reputed umpire Daryl Harper has now come out with an interesting comment on the convicted dup od Steve Smith and David Warner.
The report came after Smith and Warner were stripped of the captaincy and vice-captaincy and banned for a year from the sport after being caught up in a plot to alter the condition of the ball during the third Test against South Africa on Saturday.
Daryl Harper said the pair were not engaging in fair play while representing New South Wales in a match against Victoria in November 2016, according to an email he sent to Cricket Australia's match referee and umpire selection manager Simon Taufel, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
When David Warner repeatedly bounced his returns in to (NSW wicket-keeper) Peter Nevill on the first day, the umpires appealed to Smith to support their calls for fair play," the former Australian Test umpire reportedly wrote in the email.
"They weren't encouraged by his response. I assisted the umpires on the second morning by suggesting to (NSW coach) Trent Johnston that CA didn't need an issue with the national captain being involved in a ball-tampering incident."
Harper, who is Australian, said Smith had complained about the state of the Sydney Cricket Ground pitch after his team lost, and also "gave the impression that he wasn't happy to be playing the Sheffield Shield match".
"This was at the same time that the South African captain (Faf du Plessis) was under scrutiny (for ball-tampering) and before he had been charged," Harper added.
"As it transpired, there were no further errant throws for the final three days of the game from either team. Steve's participation in the post-match meeting was quite limp, and not as I would expect from our national captain."
Cricket Australia did take some stern decisions and handed a 12-month ban to two of their prime cricketers David Warner and Steve Smith. Bancroft was sanctioned for his involvement as well and was handed a 9-month exile from cricket.
Amidst the controversy, both teams will face each other for one final time in the fourth Test in Johannesburg starting today.