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Gautam Gambhir Issues Passionate Defence of Steve Smith, Questions Cricket Australia

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 29, 2018, 8:31 PM IST
Gautam Gambhir Issues Passionate Defence of Steve Smith, Questions Cricket Australia

Steve Smith breaks down during a press conference in Sydney. (AP Image)

New Delhi: India cricketer Gautam Gambhir has jumped into the defence of tainted Australian cricketer Steve Smith after the latter was banned for 12 months and he subsequently broke down during a press conference in Sydney on Thursday.

The Delhi Daredevils skipper, in a series of posts on social media, wrote that the sanctions that have been handed to the former Australian skipper and two other were very harsh. Also, Gambhir seemed to attack the Cricket Australia and went to the extend of saying that the Smith and Warner may be paying the price of revolting against the Australian cricket body for asking to increase the salaries of Aussie cricketers.

Gambhir's first post read: "While cricket needs to be corruption-free but feel sanctions on Aussies bit harsh. Are @stevesmith49 & @davidwarner31 paying for revolt for pay hike? History has it administrators deride those who standup for players’ cause. Classic case: Ian Chappell #BallTampering #StevenSmith"

Then, in his second post, Gambhir asked the Australian cricket fans and media to 'go easy' on the fallen cricketers and his Tweet read: "Feel sorry for @stevesmith49 dad (in pic) other family members. Hope media n Aussie public go easy on them as families can be soft targets. More than d ban living wid this feeling of being called a cheat is a bigger punishment. #BallTamperingRow".

But Gambhir wasn't done there as he once again batted for Smith and pleaded with the public to not label Smith as a cheat. His third post read: "I may be getting emotional but @stevesmith49 doesn’t look to me a cheat. Don’t know about u but I see in him a desperate leader trying to win a Test match for his country, his team. Yes, indeed, his methods were questionable but let’s not label him corrupt #BallTamperingScandal".

Earlier in the day, Smith broke down during his interaction with the media at the Sydney Airport and said that he is 'deeply sorry' for what transpired in the Cape Town Test last Saturday. The Australian batsman was speaking to media for the first time after the trio of Smith, Warner and Bancroft were handed respective sanctions by Cricket Australia.

"I take full responsibility, I made a serious error of judgement and I understand the consequences. It was a failure of leadership," he said before breaking down at a press conference after his arrival in Sydney from Johannesburg.

"I will do everything to make up for my mistake. If any good can come for this... it can be a lesson for others. I hope I can be a force for change. I know I will regret this for the rest of my life. I am absolutely gutted. Cricket is my life and hope it can be again. I'm sorry. I'm absolutely devastated," he added.

Then, later in the day, coach Darren Lehmann too couldn't hold his emotions back during the pre-match press conference ahead of the fourth and the final South Africa Test and said that the Johannesburg Test will be his last match at helm.

"This will be my last Test as head coach of the Australian cricket team. My family and I got a lot of abuse over the last week. Speaking to my family, it's the right time to step away," Lehmann said during a press conference on the eve of the match.

"Saying goodbye to the players was the toughest thing I have ever had to do."
First Published: March 29, 2018, 8:30 PM IST

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