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24th Mar 2018

Australian cricket captain admits to trying to cheat during Test match

Reuben Pinder

Footage has emerged of Cameron Bancroft tampering with the ball

Cricket is widely considered to bemore than a sport. It’s thought of as a practice that teaches a moral code and sporting conduct. The current series between South Africa and Australia has severely lacked the level of sportsmanship expected in Test cricket.

First, South Africa bowler Kagiso Rabada was suspended for two matches after his celebration was judged to have been over the top, as he brushed shoulders with Australian captain Steve Smith after getting him out. The decision was later overruled after a hearing, a decision that Smith described as “quite interesting.”

Australia vice-captain David Warner then found himself in a heated row with a South African spectator after his dismissal on day two of the third Test in Cape Town. The tourists’ coach Darren Lehmann described the abuse from the crowd as “disgraceful.”

In the latest chapter of this controversial saga, the Australian team have come under a lot of scrutiny after Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith were caught ball tampering. After footage emerged of Bancroft trying to alter the condition of the ball, he and Smith had no choice but to front up and take responsibility for their actions.

Smith has since come forward and admitted: “The leadership group knew about it. I’m not proud of it.”

Bancroft said: “Once I was sighted on the big screens I panicked quite a lot.”

It has been reported that, with the match slipping away from Australia, they discussed the idea of tampering with the ball during the lunch break and Bancroft was tasked with doing so.

Smith insists they feel guilty about their unsportsmanlike behaviour. “It’s a poor reflection of everyone in that dressing room. If we weren’t caught I would still feel bad”, he said.

“We spoke about it, and we thought it was a good way to get an advantage.”

After the big screen in Cape Town showed Bancroft using yellow tape on the ball, he hid the tape in his trousers.

Smith insists the Australian coaches were not aware:  “We made a poor choice. We deeply regret our actions. Coaches weren’t involved. It was purely the players in the leadership group.”