Warner tampered the ball during first-class match: Cook
Former England captain Alastair Cook hit the headlines recently after he disclosed an incident when drinking with his Ashes opponents, a drunk Warner had opened up about the time he had tampered the ball in a first-class match. Cook also spoke about the batting sensation Steve Smith who is performing like a machine on a different level.
Recalling the 2017-18 Ashes, which Australia won, Cook said when he and England’s players shared a few beers with the then captain Steve Smith’s boys. That was when David Warner – the main ideator of the Sandpapergate – had made a shocking revelation about another ball-tampering incident in a first-class match.
“David Warner, a couple of beers into his celebration, mentioned that he used substances attached to the strapping on his hand to accelerate the deterioration of the ball during a first-class match. I looked at Steve Smith who shot a glance that said: ‘Ooh, you shouldn’t have said that.”
Did the Aussies use sandpaper to tamper with the ball before they were caught doing such infamous act in Cape Town in March 2018? “Stuart Broad sums it up pretty well and says they got the ball to reverse swing in that Ashes. Why change what you’ve been doing? Why suddenly use sandpaper?
People know what was going on. But it’s been the best thing for Australian cricket because they realised it wasn’t acceptable. The win-at-all-costs culture they created isn’t what the Australian public needed or wanted. They’d gone too far.”
As Australia retained the Ashes urn at the Old Trafford, Steve Smith clinched the Man of the Match title once again. The leading run-scorer of Ashes 2019 chipped in with good batting scores of 144, 142, 92, 211 and 82.
The veteran English batsman, Alastair Cook, however, praised Steve Smith and his phenomenal run of form saying “he’s redefining what is possible as a batsman”.
“He doesn’t look like he’s one of the best ever,” Cook told the Guardian. “but he’s operating on a different level. I’ve always had Lara, Ponting and Kallis as the three best batsmen I’ve ever seen. Smith  is younger than me but what he’s achieving is phenomenal. He’s redefining what is possible as a batsman. The MCC manual talks about side-on movement but Smith stands in a much more open way and still plays incredibly well.
“He is a freak in terms of his ability to play the kind of unorthodox shot, on all-fours, he used to get to his 50 on the first day [last week]. His God-given talent, apart from his work ethic and hand-eye co-ordination, is extraordinary. He nicks the ball far less than any other player ever – maybe with the exception of Don Bradman. Smith just doesn’t miss a ball on his pads.”