Australia cricketer Peter Siddle lashed out at former England fast-bowler Steve Harmison for his critical comment on Steve Smith over the infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
Following his superb knock in Manchester that helped Australia to retain the Ashes Urn in England, Harmison said the stylish right-hander will forever be remembered as a cheat no matter how he is surreal on the field, referring to his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.
Following the infamous scandal in South Africa last year, Smith along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned from the game for 12 months and nine months respectively.
Harmison told talkSPORT, “I don’t think you can forgive him. When you’re known as a cheat – and he is, I’m not going to sugar-coat it – that’s on your CV. You’re marked and you take it to the grave.”
He further said of Smith, “Whatever Steve Smith does, he’ll always be remembered for what happened in South Africa. That’s something he’s got to live with. I can’t see anyone’s opinion changing on Smith, Bancroft, or Warner – because they’ve tarnished the game.”
Meanwhile, coming in support of Smith, Siddle jumped into the matter, slammed Harmison for his perceptive comment on his teammate while pointing towards a particular incident from the past to make his point.
He also laughed at Englishman’s comment on Smith, saying former Australian skipper has put those talks on rest with his stunning display on the field.
Siddle told SEN SA Breakfast, “It’s more of a laugh than anything because we know some stories about what has gone on in the past. A couple of his teammates from back then put out books since the ‘05 Ashes and talked about sugar-coating the cricket ball to get reverse swing in that series.”
He signed off by saying, “That’s the irony in all that, that he actually used the word sugar-coat, when two of his teammates have talked about mints and different things to put on the ball. It actually comes back on him. We’ll have the last laugh about that, and I think Steve Smith has definitely put those to rest and he’s just done his talking with the bat.”
Noteworthy, Smith has been impressive with the willow since returning from the ball-tempering scandal, having amassed 671 runs in 3 matches in the ongoing Ashes 2019 with the final Test will be played on 12 September, Thursday, at The Oval.
(With SEN SA Breakfast/ talkSPORT Inputs)