25/6/2018 0 Comments
Australian cricketers, Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft who were charged with ball tampering bore the brunt of not only the local media but their home board Cricket Australia, retired players and world media; their actions were scrutinized the same way as one would for match fixing, an eerie reminder of Pakistan players Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif who were suspended for 5 and 10 years respectively and even jailed for a short period for the no-ball controversy.
This also accentuates the quasi power of the umpires; should the umpires have the same discretion and judgement as those of Hockey and Football for player suspension, that is handing out red and yellow cards on the spot for any offenses or be mere figureheads waiting for the match referee's decision.?
Cricket Australia Officials had no alternative but to take matters into their own hands; avoiding further humiliation not only did they suspend the trio for 12 months (9 months to Bancroft), but stripped Steve Smith and David Warner of Captaincy and Vice Captaincy respectively which clearly underlines the emotions of a sport and how invested one is.
The suspension of the Australian cricketers might act as a deterrent to future players but in the hindsight, it was still harsh. Cricket Australia Officials took this decision to preserve their reputation and credibility and never expected the sport in their country under their supervision to fall below certain standards.
The case of Sri Lankan Captain Dinesh Chandimal is in stark contrast; he was suspended for one match, but unlike Cricket Australia, the Sri Lankan Cricket Board without any fuss quietly announced an interim captain. They seemed untroubled by the whole situation and complied with the International Cricket Council's decision and saw no reason to add anymore punishments and hostility from their side.
Ball tampering unlike match fixing is still vague as a concept. If electronic devices are not permitted to be with the players and officials in the duration of the match, then ' foreign substances' which can alter the shape or condition of the ball should have similar restrictions. It is paradoxical that players carry along with them jelly or sandpaper nonchalantly to the ground and then we expect them not to use it.