England cricket supporters club ‘Barmy Army’ was in full flow during the first day’s play in the ongoing second Test against New Zealand at Hagley Oval, Christchurch on Friday (March 30). The Barmy Army poked fun at the Australian cricket team for their involvement in the disgraceful ball-tampering scandal that rocked the cricketing fraternity last week.
Amidst the intense passage of play, an England fan handed the veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor a piece of sandpaper for an autograph. There was no telling if Taylor knew it was sandpaper but he left his signature on it.
The incident was later uploaded on the official Twitter page of Barmy Army in which Taylor can be seen speedily signing autographs for the fans. In his haste to return to the boundary, he signed the sandpaper as well.
Ross Taylor signs a piece of sandpaper. pic.twitter.com/2JGPjmON5r— England's Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) March 30, 2018
Moreover, a group of England's Barry Army fans were also dressed in the Australian Test kit to mock the "Australia's leadership group".
The Australian leadership group has arrived. ???? pic.twitter.com/T363zZgrWP— England's Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) March 30, 2018
It is worth mentioning here that cameras had caught Australia’s rookie opener, Cameron Bancroft, using a foreign object to work on the ball during the recently concluded Cape Town Test against South Africa. 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. The object was later verified as “sandpaper” during Cricket Australia’s investigation.
In a shocking press conference after the third day's play at Newlands, former Australia skipper Steve 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.
Aside from ICC, Cricket Australia on Wednesday (March 28) announced severe punishments on the convicted trio of Smith, Warner and Bancroft for their involvement in this shameful act. CA banned Smith and Warner for 12 months, while Bancroft was handed a 9-month suspension from international cricket.