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Jeff Thomson wants Steve Smith banned for life following ball tampering scandal

Steve Smith was banned for just one Test by the International Cricket Council for the ball tampering issue. However, Jeff Thomson believes the punishment should have been more.

cricket Updated: Mar 27, 2018 14:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Steve Smith,Jeff Thomson,Australian cricket team
Australia captain Steve Smith has taken the nation’s cricketing pride totally downhill.(Reuters)

Moments after the International Cricket Council (ICC) handed out a one-Test ban to Australia skipper Steve Smith for his involvement in the ‘Sandpaper Gate’ scandal, fans and pundits across the globe were divided on the quantum of punishment handed out to a captain who anchored the nasty act and led a 25-year-old to take one for the team.

Ex-Australian pace bowling great Jeff Thomson, however, feels that the strongest punishment should meted out to Smith.

“They should not get a match penalty, they should just get flicked. I don’t care who they are, they should be just see ya later,” an angry Jeff Thomson was quoted by 9news.com.au.

“It’s a slur on everyone who’s ever played cricket. They’re like spoilt brats if it doesn’t go their way, they spit the dummy, whinge about it, carry on stupidly.”

Smith was fined his entire match fee too but that didn’t seem justified enough for several sections of the cricketing fraternity. Smith’s admission later in the press conference that tampering the ball was a pre-meditated move with the decision-makers aware of the act simply escalated the tension.

This was neither the first instance of ball tampering nor the sneakiest. So what makes this so sensational and why would claims seeking a life ban on Smith emerge from across the globe? The answer is perhaps the manner in which it came across as a well-orchestrated move and a skipper leading an eight-Test old player to engage in the act.

Five men who could succeed scandal-tainted Steve Smith as captain of Australia's cricket team. (AFP)

It’s also perhaps the reason why former Australian cricketers like Thomson have come publicly criticising the role of the captain and urging authorities concerned to deliver harsher sanctions.

“Australian cricket is in the doldrums now. One of lowest efforts ever, lowest moments ever,” former Australian cricketer Greg Matthews said on A Current Affair.

It was around 10 years back when Smith was handed his first New South Wales cap by Matthews.

“As far as worse things go, it’s certainly in the grand final. This guy loves the game, trains more than anyone else, thinks about it more than anyone else, he’s not sleeping well at night thinking about the game of cricket, he’s not going to be sleeping too well for a while now. Clearly the greatest punishment Smith will face is that for the rest of his life, this will haunt him.”

First Published: Mar 27, 2018 14:03 IST