South African opener Aiden Markram has revealed on Monday (16 April) that the entire Proteas camp was very shocked after learning that the Australian has tampered with the ball in Cape Town Test.
It is known that the recently concluded Test series between South Africa and Australia has been one of the most controversial series’ in the history of the game because of both on and off the field scuffle, and even the right-hander admitted that the ‘heat of the series was visibly happening.’
Following the ball-tampering saga, Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft were suspended by the Cricket Australia (CA). However, they can only play Club Cricket during the suspension period.
However, the 23-year-old, who has cracked two centuries in that controversial Test series, is confident that there is the spirit of cricket still alive in Australian camp despite the ball-tampering scandal.
As per reports in cricket.com.au, Markram told reporters after being unveiled as English County side Durham's new signing, "We were very shocked. The heat of the series was obviously happening. It was the third Test match and it was a crunch game, and the next thing, the story broke out. Everyone woke up the next morning and the guys couldn't believe what had happened. It obviously hit home overnight and it was tough to see what the Australians went through.”
He further added, “You don't wish that on your worst enemy, so I'm sure they're glad it's done and we're glad it's done. The punishments that were dealt out were harsh, but having said that, you also can't let people get away with what they did.”
On being asked if the spirit of cricket still exists, the Proteas opener replied, “I do think it exists, yes. On the field, there are a lot of pressures to deal with and a lot of competitive juices that get flowing, and that's when it's the toughest part to try to keep it in the spirit of cricket.”
He further explained, “But definitely, afterward or after something, let's say, happens that is not in the spirit of cricket, you get your apology very quickly and you get your reasons behind it. If the reasons make sense to you, then you accept your apology; if not, you try to look past it.”
Markram signed off by saying, “For as long as I play, wherever I play in the world, it's something I'll encourage and drive forward because at the end of the day, it is the gentleman's game and it's a big part of cricket itself.”