Legendary Australian cricketer Ian Chappell lashed out at then national administrators after Steve Smith publicly opened out about the dressing room incident and blaming it for the infamous ball-tempering scandal in South Africa, which rocked the Australian cricket earlier this March.
Recently, disgraced former Australian skipper Smith made an acrid revelation about the national team management, claiming that the rotten core of a culture laid the base for the cheating scandal.
Smith further went on to reveal that the former Cricket Australia (CA) CEO James Sutherland and high-performance manager Pat Howard came into the inner sanctum and criticized the team after a crushing loss to South Africa in Hobart in November 2016, which left furious Chappell at the management.
Smith told Adam Gilchrist in an interview for Fox Cricket, “I think back to Hobart when we lost there against South Africa and it was our fifth straight loss in Test cricket I think after three Tests in Sri Lanka. I remember James Sutherland and Pat Howard coming into the rooms there and actually saying, ‘We don’t pay you to play, we pay you to win.’ So, for me, that was a little bit disappointing to say.”
He further added, “We don’t go out there to try and lose games of cricket, we go out there to try and win and play the best way we can. If you’re talking about cultures and stuff, you only have to look back a couple of months before South Africa and we won an Ashes series here in Australia 4-0 and people are saying the culture’s really good and everything’s good. So, you know, things can change really quickly.”
Meanwhile, Chappell on Thursday (December 27) termed it as “disgraceful” and thanked Smith for revealing the truth about then administrators.
Chappell told Macquarie Sports Radio, “As a captain of Australia if I had two administrators who don’t know a hell of a lot about cricket tell me how my team is going to play, I would tell them to buzz off. I’ll run this show my way and if you don’t like the way I’m running it then you can sack me. To say that, that is disgraceful and all credit to Steve Smith for coming out and saying that — I’m delighted.”
He signed off by saying, “I have a problem with the severity of the bans, not because I think they were too long, but because they only applied to players. Hopefully, you’ll understand why I’m cranky that it was just players who got the severe bans.”
(With Macquarie Sports Radio/Fox Cricket Inputs)