Australia's Pat Cummins.(AP)
Australia's Pat Cummins.(AP)

'Shouldn't count against him even if they decide bowlers did know': Chappell backs Cummins as Australia's next captain

But Chappell believes that even if the bowlers knew about it, the buck should stop with Steve Smith who was leading the Australia team at the time.
UPDATED ON MAY 17, 2021 03:00 PM IST

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell believes that even if a new investigation into the 2018 ball-tampering scandal revealed that the bowlers might have known about the plot, Pat Cummins should still be considered as the next person to replace Tim Paine as Test captain.

Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban for his role in the Sandpapergate scandal that rocked Cricket Australia, while Steve Smith and David Warner were given a 12-month suspension.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Bancroft hinted that the bowlers might have known about ball-tampering. His remarks reignited the controversy with cricket pundits discussing who all knew about it.

Also read: Aakash Chopra reacts to Cameron Bancroft's latest statement on Sandpaper gate

But Chappell believes that even if the bowlers knew about it, the buck should stop with Steve Smith who was leading the Australia team at the time.

"If people start jumping up and down about Pat Cummins captaining Australia if he knew, well the answer is pretty clear, because it falls back on Smith," Chappell told Wide World of Sports.

"He's the bloke who should have stopped it. The captain's got the overall say and power to stop it, and he didn't.

"I don't think it should count against Pat Cummins, even if they decide the bowlers did know. Smith is the bloke who should have made sure the whole thing never started."

"I think it's time to move on. To me if you go back to Smith, you're going backwards," Chappell further said. "It's time to look ahead, not in the rear-vision mirror," he added.

Speaking on Bancroft's remarks, Chappell said that what he said must have been weighing on his mind for a long time.

"It's probably something that's been on Bancroft's chest for a while, and he's tried to get it off his chest as diplomatically as he possibly could," Chappell said.

"I'm not surprised, because Bancroft's one of only three that got pinged for what happened, and most people would realise that there was more than three people involved.

"And any attempt to tell you it was the first time it happened is wrong, that's glaringly obvious as well."

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