Australian fast bowler, Josh Hazlewood has opened up on his thoughts about ball-tampering episode that had shaken Australian cricket very recently. Hazlewood has reclaimed that the players had no idea about the ball-tampering that saw Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft getting banned from playing international cricket for a good length of time.
David Warner and Steve Smith were banned for one year, while Cameron Bancroft was handed nine months ban to play for Australia. Josh Hazlewood has revealed that all the players were shocked about the episode.
When talking about the ball-tampering scandal, the fast bowler quoted “It’s a big tour always South Africa, coming off the back of an Ashes as well which was quite stressful,” he said. “All big tours are stressful and that added pressure we probably put on ourselves as much as anyone to win.
“Where the stress has come from is that we are pretty much measured on our cricket ability, not as people off the field, which we had probably got away from in the past six months, 12 months.
“A focus only on results I guess drives people to do different things and we are only measured on our cricket success. I don’t think that’s how it is now, I think that’s changed a little bit, JL (Justin Langer) has talked a lot about how we are behaving off the field and we are going to be measured on that as well which is a good sign.”
Josh Hazlewood feels maybe Steve Smith lacked the worldly experience of being the best captain as he was just 26 years old when he was appointed the captain of the team whereas Steve Waugh was 33 when he led Australian national squad.
“Cricket wise I think he was ready, he probably wasn’t ready with everything that came with it I guess,” Hazlewood said of Smith.
“It’s a different time now where we’re basically cricketers from the time we leave school and we don’t really experience life outside of cricket and the cricket environment, back in those times they probably got out in the world, had a few jobs, learned a lot of life lessons. Now you go straight from school into a cricket environment and cricket is all you know.”
When talking about what exactly happened on the day of ball-tampering, Hazlewood said "we went to bed that night and Australia hadn’t woken up yet, when it hit back in Australia and we woke up it was quite surprising how big a reaction it was,” he said. “It wasn’t massive in South Africa, all the Australian writers know its going on here and there and around different teams and people have been done in the past, I guess they talked it down a bit if anything but once it hit home the media went the other way and the reaction was massive.”
Currently, Hazlewood is not a part of Australian cricket team playing against England due to a back injury. The player will surely like to get his place back in the team and represent his nation against South Africa later this year.
(Inputs from new.com.au)