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Cheating is a Strong Word But Smith & Co Have Really Stepped Over the Line This Time

Pratik Sagar |Cricketnext | Updated: March 26, 2018, 3:52 PM IST
Cheating is a Strong Word But Smith & Co Have Really Stepped Over the Line This Time

Australian cricket team led by Steve Smith (Image: AFP)

There was a time when people hated the Australian cricket team for all the wrong reasons as they were a team of winners who romped over everything that came in their path. But now, every cricket fan simply despises them for all the right reasons as they have committed the sin of cheating, merely to get a small 'advantage' in a Test match.

There is an old adage that says 'honesty is the best policy' but for once, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft's 'honesty' during the press conference after the end of third day's play in Cape Town will not hold them in good light. In fact, the now-sacked skipper will always be known as a cheat, regardless of what kind of career he goes on to enjoy in future.

Since taking over captaincy from Michael Clarke in 2015, Smith has touched unparalleled heights with the blade in hand, however, at the same time, somehow he has managed to sink to the bottom with some crazy spur of the moment calls as well as well thought about decisions, thus bringing disrepute to the game, time and time again.

It seems that Smith wanted to go down as a person who rewrote history books with the bat and then put black ink all over the pages with the help of nothing but just a sandpaper. Even umpire Nigel Llong must be left scratching his head regarding Smith's shenanigans as he had the best seat in house on both the occasions when the Sydney-born lad suffered brain fade on the pitch.

Smith put on a sorry but determined face during the presser when he claimed that he still remains the right man for the job to lead Australia. However, Cricket Australia didn't think so as Smith was asked to 'step down' and so was David Warner — allegedly the Bonnie and Clyde of the notorious 'leadership group'. What made the crime even more cowardly was the fact that they chose a young player to carry out the dirty job, who had just started his career on the international stage but is now staring down the barrel.

"I guess once I was sighted on the (TV) screens, that resulted in me shoving it down my trousers," Bancroft said. "I am not proud of what has happened. I have to live with the consequences and the damage to my reputation that comes with it. I will do my best to move forward and play cricket."

But let's face it, the Australians have a habit of doing such things but previously, they never stepped this far over the line. They are known to top the charts when it comes to abusing, sledging and even make unnecessary personal comments during a game but this time, according to their own standards, they have fallen down further. For example, in the ongoing series against, Warner has somehow manage to pick up a fight with Quinton de Kock as well as a spectator, while Smith blasted the International Cricket Council for allowing Kagiso Rabada to play the final two Tests, after it became evident that the South African pacer had committed the unpardonable crime of colliding with the Aussie skipper 'by mistake'.

The entire cricket community want the Australians to pay for their actions in Cape Town and it is warranted.

"It is not what we want to see in the game, it’s not what the Australian cricket team is about. Being the leader of the team I am incredibly sorry for trying to bring the game into disrepute like we did today," said Smith. But if apologising after committing a crime would've been enough then the jails all over the globe would've stayed empty.

The ball now is in the ICC's court and they are at a point where they will be remembered in future according to how they act today. Cricket Australia have done their bit and sent a strong message with the 'removal' of Smith and Warner to redeem themselves a bit, but if the International cricket board wants this incident to remain unprecedented in the future, a strong deterrent needs to be set.
First Published: March 26, 2018, 3:50 PM IST

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