Steven Smith seems set to be permanently stripped off from Australia’s captaincy and speculations are also swinging around that Cricket Australia might come along with the decision of banning Smith for a year long time following his role in the scandalous ball tampering incident in South Africa tour.
Cricket Australia is more agitated on the ground of the possibility of back stabbing in the upcoming television broadcasting deal. The existing five year agreement of Aus$600 million is going to be expired by the end of this year.
CA concerned the broadcasters might make the ‘ball tampering’ issue for bargaining during the renegotiations.
Steven Smith, who has already handed one match suspension, is feared to know his fate along with vice captain David Warner, coach Darren Lehmann and opener Cameron Bancroft, in later part of Tuesday. Smith also lost his captaincy in the Rajasthan Royals for the upcoming Indian Premier League season.
Rajasthan’s head of cricket, Zubin Bharucha, said, “The incident in Cape Town has certainly disturbed the cricket world. We have been in constant touch with the Indian Cricket Board and taken their counsel. Furthermore we have been in regular contact with Steve.
“Steve believes given the current circumstances it’s in the best interest of the Royals that he steps down as captain so the team can get ready for the start of the IPL without the ongoing distractions,” he said.
The cricket law maker MCC, said in a statement on Monday, “The behavior of some of the players in the current South Africa/Australia series, and other incidents in recent times in the game we all cherish, has fallen well below the standard required to inspire generations of cricket-loving families.”
The water is floating high in Australia, with CA is under pressure from the government and Australian Sports Commission who has called for ‘strong and decisive’ actions.
Even some of the cricketers like Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc is pressing sternly on CA’s back to clarify their not involvement in issue after Steven Smiths’ admissions of about involvement of the ‘leadership group’.
CA Chief James Sutherland is about to join in an investigation along with board’s head of integrity Iain Roy, High Performance Manager Pat Howard to call and talk with cricketers of the current team to identify each person’s knowledge on that day’s specific ball tampering decision made during the lunch break – revealed by Smith.
For the sponsors and dealers of the Aussie team, the shockwave has crossed fingers. A Qantas Airlines spokesman whose logo is carried in team jersey said, “This is deeply disappointing and certainly not what anyone expects from our national cricket team.”
Even the Australian women cricketers have had to work through the muddy roads of this scandal – Financial giant Commonwealth Bank, which sponsors the national women’s team, also sought a detailed explanation.
The team’s biggest sponsor, fund manager Magellan, told the Australian Financial Review, “We’re deeply concerned about it, it involves cheating, in no way would we condone it in what we do,” while long-term cricket broadcaster Nine Entertainment refused to comment.
Trevor Chappell, the youngest of Chappell brothers, who once rebuked for the infamous ‘underarm delivery’ sighed sadly pointing to the effects to be carried on and also ridiculed the terms.
Talking to the Daily Telegraph, Chappell said, “They will struggle for the rest of their lives and be known as the ones who brought Australian cricket into disrepute. I’m the last one who comes up on Google as the man who took the lead role in Australian cricket’s darkest day. It’s a real relief I can finally drop that title.”
Even coach Darren Lehmann, who was defended by accused skipper Steven Smith by saying ‘not to have any kind of involvement’ in the tampering decision, has also been under fire following Smith’s revelation of a ‘group of decision makers to plan out the trick’ to come back in the match against South Africa, in which, eventually, Aussies suffered a 322 runs defeat.
In the after lunch session of the third day of the third Test between Australia and South Africa in Newlands, Cape Town, television cameras caught young Bancroft scuffing the ball with a yellow sticky tape and then hide that in his underpants.