For a while we, the ardent followers of the great game of cricket are witnessing the spirit of cricket being compromised in many different matches. The players are bumping against each other, abusing, using filthy languages, manipulating matches with money and ball doctoring.
The latest of these events happened at Durban in the second innings of South Africa. Young Aussie opener Cameroon Bancroft was seen trying to roughen the ball with the ulterior motive of getting undue advantage for extracting reverse swing.
The match by that time tilted in favor of the home side. The matter immediately spread over social media and became viral. People in general and proud sporting nation Australia got shocked and awed.
Captain Steve Smith admitted that it happened following a team decision. Australia were on the verge of losing the Test and the series. Australian cricket team compromised with the spirit of cricket.
All sensible Australians responded. Australian Prime Minister advised Cricket Australia CEO to strip Steve Smith of his captaincy with immediate effect. CA acted instantaneously. Smith and Warner stepped down. Tim Pain took over.
Australia lost the Test and now on the verge of series loss. ICC has fined Bancroft of his 100% match fees and former Captain Smith of 75% along with one Test suspension. There is speculation that Smith and Warner may be suspended from all type of cricket for life.
It may be noted here that Pakistanis have evil reputation of match fixing and ball doctoring. Many of their top players were fined, suspended and even were imprisoned for match fixing.
Indian, South African, West Indian and Sri Lankan players were also punished. Even the top Bangladesh Batsman Mohammad Ashraful is still serving his terms for match fixing.
If we consider the recent incident the actions taken so far appears grossly inadequate. CA is set to conduct probe into the incident and hopefully appropriate actions would follow.
Australian national anthem has a line “ADVANCE AUSTRALIA FAIR.” It was definitely not fair what Smith and Co did and they deserve dues punishment.
We are not sure ICC has done justice to the game announcing very mild actions. If Amir Asif and Salman Butt could be imprisoned for match fixing why not similar actions can be taken by ICC, South African and Australian Government.
Serious tensions were being observed in sledging and counter sledging in the series from the start. Warner and Quinton de Kock were locked in a tussle. Rabada was indecent in his celebration after taking wicket. If those could considered seriously such incident would not have happened.
As Australian, we also felt disgraced. Yesterday in a gathering in Brisbane on the occasion of Neighborhood Day all condemned the incident and felt ashamed as a proud sporting nation.
It will be unfortunate that players like Steve Smith and David Warner were part of it. May be others had role also. Decision in the dressing room is discussed with team management as well.
We cricket admirers would like to see serious actions taken. We also want to know about response of our Indian Cricket friends including great Sunil Gavaskar. He wanted strong punishment against Bangladesh captain Shakib for showing indecent against umpiring mistake. We want to see his reactions to Australian players misconduct.
Cricket is supposed to be a game of gentlemen. That is suffering from T20 avalanche of business insects. The IPL < PCL< BIG BASH and BPL must be scrutinized and reviewed.
Millions are changing hands through betting and match fixing. For saving cricket there must be fresh thought about disco cricket.