Former Australian fast bowling legend Jeff Thomson believes that Steve Smith and the leadership group embroiled in the ball tampering scandal should be handed life bans from cricket.
The former cricketer spoke to A Current Affair and said that what happened in the South Africa Test match is calculated cheating. Thomson believes that those involved in this act should be ‘permanently’ kept away from the game.
“They should not get a match penalty they should just get flicked. I don't care who they are, they should be just see ya later,” Thomson said. “It’s a slur on everyone who's ever played cricket.”
According to Thomson, who was one of the most fearsome fast bowlers in his time, is of the opinion that the incident has come about due to deep cultural faults which have found its way into the Australian cricket DNA.
“They're like spoilt brats if it doesn't go there way, they spit the dummy, whine about it, carry on stupidly,” he said.
Thomson shared the stage with another former Australian cricketer Greg Matthews. The latter was Steve Smith’s first captain at the first class level when he made his debut for New South Wales.
Mathews believes that the passionate Smith can recover from this incident in Cape Town, but the trauma is something that is unavoidable.
“Smith loves the game, trains more than anyone else, thinks about it more than anyone else, he’s not sleeping well at night thinking about cricket, he’s not going to be sleeping too well for a while now,” he said.
“Clearly the greatest punishment Smith will face is that for the rest of his life, this will haunt him.”
Along with Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are also in the dock and are under investigation from Cricket Australia (CA).
Most recently, Smith was stripped of his captaincy for the Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals, while the Sunrisers Hyderabad will wait for the conclusion of the CA probe to take a decision on their captain David Warner.