India batsman Rohit Sharma on Thursday (March 29) opened up about the ball-tampering controversy that affected the entire cricketing fraternity during the recently concluded Test match between Australia and South Africa in Cape Town.
Rohit stated that he deeply felt for Steve Smith with the way the former Aussie skipper was escorted at the airport last night and his most recent press conference where he broke down and looked devastated.
Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, Rohit wrote: “The video of Steve Smith being escorted at the airport and his most recent conference resonated with me.”
Widely known as the Hitman of Indian cricket, Sharma also insisted that this unfortunate incident shouldn’t define the convicted players in future.
“The spirit of game is of utmost importance there’s no denying that. They made a mistake and they accepted it. It would be unfair of me to sit here and question the boards decision but they are great players and I don’t think this should define them,” Rohit’s tweet further read.
Cricket Australia on Wednesday (March 28) announced a severe punishment on Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft for their involvement in this disgraceful scandal. CA banned Smith and Warner for 12 months, while Bancroft was handed a 9-month suspension from international cricket.
In its statement, Cricket Australia had also mentioned that each player will have to complete 100 hours of community service before being considered for future selection. While Smith and Bancroft will have to wait two years before they are considered for leadership roles, Warner will never again be considered for captaincy as he was found to be the instigator of the plan.
Just a day after the scandal, Smith was handed a one-match suspension and fined 100% of his match fee by the ICC while Bancroft was penalized 75 percent of his match fee and awarded three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct.