India vs Australia: ‘Same signs as before Sandpapergate’, Former Australian cricketer concerned over ‘angry’ Steve Smith

Published on Jan 13, 2021 04:57 PM IST

Shane Lee termed Steve Smith’s behaviour “disturbing” and added that he is “seeing the same signs” in the batsman as he did prior to the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town.

File photo of Australian batsman Steve Smith(AP)
File photo of Australian batsman Steve Smith(AP)
Byhindustantimes.com

Former Australian cricketer Shane Lee has raised concerns about Steve Smith’s behaviour in the recently-concluded third Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Smith was seen scuffing up the area around the batting crease during India’s chase on Monday. While people on social media questioned his sportsmanship, Smith rubbished all the accusations.

Speaking to Fox Cricket, Lee termed Smith’s conduct “disturbing” and added that he is “seeing the same signs” in batsman as he did prior to the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town.

“He was not trying to cheat, but he should not be on the wicket. I am really really concerned about some of our behaviour. Steve Smith scored a fantastic hundred in Sydney and the way he reacted afterwards, I thought, there is real anger there. It is disturbing. You wind forward to this test: I’m seeing the same signs (as before Sandpapergate). I’m seeing someone like Smith who is getting really, really angry,” Lee told Fox Cricket.

Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft were handed bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in 2018. Warner and Smith returned to action in 2019, but Lee believes that Smith lately has been looking very angry and this is not a good sign.

“I think that Smith, Warner, and Bancroft should have punished for what they did. It was appalling. But the way they were handled by Cricket Australia - they were given no support,” Lee said.

“I am feeling really worried about this guy (Smith). I really want Cricket Australia or someone within that organisation to make sure this guy's alright. Because he's a champion batsman, and he's not a cheat. We really need to look after these guys from a mental health perspective,” said Lee.

India and Australia will lock horns in the fourth and final Test at the Gabba, Brisbane, beginning December 15.

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