Australia ‘out of control’, but must not overreact to ball-tampering: Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh, former Australia cricket team captain, has warned against an overreaction to the ball-tampering episode that saw the suspension of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.Updated: May 07, 2018 16:27 IST
Former captain Steve Waugh has criticised the Australia cricket team for being ‘out of control’ on the field, but has also warned against an overreaction to the ball-tampering episode that rocked the national team during its tour of South Africa.
Australia captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and young opening batsman Cameron Bancroft were handed bans by Cricket Australia (CA) for their roles in the ball-tampering episode during the third Test in Cape Town.
While Smith and Warner were handed one-year bans each from top-level competitive cricket in Australia, Bancroft was handed a ban of nine months for his role in ‘Sandpapergate’. Cricket Australia has also launched two separate reviews of the national cricket team culture.
But Waugh, who captained Australia to World Cup win in 1999 apart from presiding over a world-beating side in late 1990s and early 2000s, does not welcome the ongoing reviews.
“People are talking about no sledging in the game of cricket. You’ve got to be careful how you play, but the Australian way is always to be combative, to be positive and to have a bit of a chat out on the field,” Waugh was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Waugh hoped that his former teammate Justin Langer — recently appointed as the next head coach — will keep the traditional style of play intact.
“As long as it doesn’t cross the line, we’ve got to play to our style. So hopefully Justin (Langer) will keep that intact. There’s always a knee-jerk reaction when things don’t go well and you have reviews. We had the Argus review a few years ago which I was a part of and now we’ve got two reviews going concurrently. I’m not really sure what the mission statement is of those reviews,” Waugh told Triple M.
Waugh, who won 41 out of his 57 Tests as Australia captain while losing a mere nine, agreed with his successor Ricky Ponting that there was no need for any review. “As Ricky Ponting said, there was no need for a review six months ago when the side was beating England 4-0 in the Ashes. We’ve got to be really careful that we don’t overreact to it,” Waugh said.
‘out of control’
Criticising Australian spinner Nathan Lyon without taking his name, Waugh said there was no need for the ball to be dropped near South Africa’s AB de Villiers during the Durban Test. Lyon was later fined by the ICC.
Waugh said, “There’s probably been occasions where the team has looked a little bit out of control on the field with the chat and the way they’ve reacted after they’ve taken a wicket. AB de Villiers was a case in mind; he’s the best batsman in the world and they dropped the ball at his feet and they carried on with the extra celebrations.
“You don’t need that sort of stuff. Once you’ve got the wicket, you’ve got the wicket. So I think we’ve got to pull it back a little bit, but we don’t want to delve too deep and cause issues that maybe aren’t there.”