‘The authorities let it happen’ – Steve Waugh on Cape Town ball-tampering scandal

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh believes that the previous lack of strict punishment for handling the ball manifested itself in things that are "out of control" "with the Newlands controversy that led to the suspensions of Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

The trio received severe penalties from Cricket Australia earlier this year after sandpaper was used on the ball during the Cape Town Test to try to extract the reverse swing. At that time, the ICC awarded Smith the maximum penalty they could according to the code of conduct (a fine of 100% of their match rate and a one-game suspension) and awarded Bancroft three demerit points and a fine. 75%, but it did not come. Warner, although he had already been dismissed as vice-captain.

The manipulation of the ball was classified as a level two offense under the ICC code of conduct when the Newlands incident developed, but has since been elevated to a level three category that entails a ban on six tests or 12 ODI. Players have long tried to stay within the line of laws and playing conditions while "handling" the ball, and infractions are reasonably resolved below the scale of ICC misdemeanors.

"You know they push the limits a bit by throwing the ball to the ground in the rough, what they should not do and then intensified from there, it's a shame how it got to the point where it did, but I guess the authorities left it pass, "Waugh told ESPNcricinfo. A Laureus event in Paris. "There have been captains in the past who have been forced to manipulate the ball and the penalties have been very lenient, so there was no penalty for doing something wrong and it was always going to get to the case in which it went out of control." "

Waugh described Australia's attempts to sand the ball as" stupid "and" ridiculous "and suggested that players had" lost touch with reality "in an environment that had become very complicated in recent years. He highlighted the entire configuration of Cricket Australia, from the boardroom to the men's national team, and led to the establishment of two reviews, the findings of which will be published in Melbourne on Monday.

"They are in a bit of a bubble and are protected , you know that they are isolated from many things. They have many people on the side that protects them and tells them how good they are and how everything is fantastic and, at times, you can lose touch with reality and I think that was summed up best when Steve Smith said that "we will not go back to make the same mistake and we will simply continue it. " They just did not realize how big the error was. and what they really had done. So, for me, I simply summarized that maybe they were out of touch with what the average person thinks. "

The reaction force of the Australian public did not surprise Waugh, although despite his condemnation of what happened, he felt that things were going too far.

"We stood a little on a pedestal and we like to think we do things the right way, play "hard and fair, this was a real total shock to the system that we would get as far as to get sandpaper," he said. "We really could not figure it out because we had the best bowling attack in the world to start with a pitch I was doing a little bit, why we had to do it, it was something that people could not understand, and it was a shock to all of Australia and We reacted accordingly.

"It was on the front pages for weeks and we saw the emotional press conferences and it was a story that followed and got bigger. When you look back, it was a ridiculous mistake, but it was also out of all proportion, the way it was covered, but that is the nature of Australian sport. The cricket is seen as almost our national identity. "If we are winning and playing well, we almost felt good as a nation and when that happened it was like a kick in the guts for everyone."

As far as Smith and Warner's futures go, Waugh believes they still have a lot to offer Australian cricket, but their returns would involve mental battles as well as anything else. Their bans are completed by the end of next March, which opens the potential for them to return for the World Cup and Australia's Ashes tour. 19659015] "I know that [Smith] will be passionate, still young, loves cricket and has the drive to get back there." Your biggest challenge will be to overcome the people who talk about it, because the rest of your life someone will mention it once a day. What happened? So he will have to overcome that mentally and find a way to overcome that, but at the end of the day he is an exceptional cricketer and has an average of 60 in the test cricket, surpassed only by Bradman for a long period of time, and He loves cricket, so I'm sure he'll come back.

"You know [Warner] is a tremendous cricketer, a lot of passion, still very young, it really depends on those guys, they have to have the passion, they have to have the desire, but I think it's a great opportunity for redemption. The Australian public will forgive and move forward, and have the opportunity to truly be role models for children in the future. "

source:- espncricinfo.com

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