Glenn Maxwell, the Australian big-hitting batsman has come out and expressed that some of the reactions towards the players involved in the ball tampering saga - Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft - was overdone and that they were unfairly treated like criminals.
Maxwell, who was rushed in with two other players - Matt Renshaw and Joe Burns - out to join the touring squad as the replacement before the final Test in Johannesburg, said to the Melbourne's Radio SEN, "I think the way they saw it, it was obviously beaten up a fair bit and they've seen a couple of their mates treated like criminals," talking especially about how the players felt.
"That is a hard thing for you to watch as a teammate, and to what they went through, especially Steve Smith at the airport, that was a hard thing for everyone to watch. To then try and get yourself ready for a game of cricket a day later was extremely difficult, and I certainly didn't envy their position at all. It was an extremely tough time for that whole playing group."
Maxwell was confident that he can fill in and do well in the final test but admitted that the issue going on was far too big a distraction, "I had thoughts of what it could be like, and I hoped I could've provided something different for the group when I got over there, whether it be energy or just a happy face around the group to try and cheer them up, The enormity struck me at the end of the Test match when Boof (coach Darren Lehmann) had his goodbye speech and spoke about a few players in the group that he hoped could lead the group going forward. I think that's when it all hit me and how hard it was for this young group."