Steve Waugh, former Australian skipper, has opined that Cricket Australia did a positive thing by handing harsh punishments to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft for their role in the infamous Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, saying “it sent out a strong message” to one and all.
Waugh’s comment concerning the ball-tampering saga came after an independent review by the Sydney-based Ethics Centre released a 145-page report on the infamous scandal in South Africa.
He further went on to reiterate his point that the suspended trio didn't realize the gravity of what they had done, saying they had moved away from the reality.
Waugh said, “I don't think they realised the gravity of what they had done, and I think that showed that they gradually got away from reality and people's perceptions of what was right and wrong.”
The 1999 World Cup winning captain further added, “Maybe this is a good time to (hit) the reset button. So I think Cricket Australia did a positive thing - even though it was a harsh penalty, it sent out a strong message. I know that all kids watching that around Australia, in any sport, would say 'now I know that if I step out of line there's going to be a heavy penalty'.”
Meanwhile, Waugh feels the banned trio might have done the mistake in the pressure of winning a match. He further explained, “You're close together, which you've got to be on away tours, and you don't like letting too many outside influences come in because you've got to concentrate on what you're doing. There's a lot of pressure, and if there's a negative vibe that starts in the side, or if people start to split up and go different ways then, quite easily, you've got an environment which is not cohesive, and one where people are thinking the wrong things.”
Waugh signed off by saying, “They're starting to think negatively, and thinking the world's against them. All of a sudden you get this feeling 'well, let's do something about it', and that's maybe what happened in South Africa.”