Former Australia captain Michael Clarke has called out Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith for their revelations on David Warner, putting the blame squarely on Warner for the ball tampering scandal.
He also didn’t find the timing of the interviews of the duo correct and said that the banned duo shouldn't be talking if they are not willing to answer the tough and unanswered questions about the ball-tampering scandal.
Clarke said it's important for Smith, Bancroft and David Warner shouldn't be speaking to the media if they are not willing to be 100 percent honest. Clarke's sharp comments came days after Smith and Warner faced the press and opened up about the infamous ball-tampering scandal that brought disrepute to Australian cricket.
Smith, in an interview with Adam Gilchrist, put the blame on Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland and former head of high performance, Pat Howard, for fostering a win-at-all-costs culture.
On the other hand, Bancroft said that it was Warner, who has suggested tampering with the ball and he just did it to fit in the team.
"It still makes me so angry watching bringing up what happened in South Africa as a past Australian player and captain. I am so surprised that Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft have done interviews at this stage. Exactly like you're saying Corky (Dominic Cork), for the Australian public there are still so many questions unanswered even after these two have done these interviews. If you're going to do these interviews, you have got to answer those tough questions. If you're not willing to answer those then don't the interview," Clarke told Sony Six on Friday.
He added: "I think there's no doubt that the Australian public will forgive... or have forgiven Warner, Smith, and Bancroft for the incident. If they start bringing this up and again... we are so far down the track with what Tim Paine is doing as captain, what the Australian team is trying to achieve, going and fighting that well in Perth.”
Clarke gave the example of Trevor Chappell, who bowled the infamous underarm delivery on behest of his brother Greg, who was then Australia captain in an ODI against New Zealand.
Clarke said, "We will never forget it like what happened with Trevor Chappell against New Zealand. But you move forward, you get on with it. Time heals everything. I just think these two interviews... the timing wasn't right. It was the start of the Australian summer... These three players can score runs, help whichever team they are playing their cricket for and come back and play for Australia. That's what they need to do.”
"Don't talk about what happened unless you're going to come out and be 100% honest with no skeletons in the closet. Unless you're going to do that, just play cricket, come back into the team and help Australia win matches," Clarke warned Smith and Bancroft.
(With IndiaToday.in inputs)