Troubled Steve Waugh says ball-tampering row has hurt ‘Spirit of Australian Cricket’
Steve Waugh urged everyone to have a “focused and balanced perspective” in ongoing ball tampering scandal that has rocked Australian cricket with current captain Steve Smith facing massive flakcricket Updated: Mar 27, 2018 13:31 IST
Former Australian captain Steve Waugh has expressed his concern over SandpaperGate scandal that has gripped the cricketing fraternity over the past few days stating that “some have now failed our culture, making a serious error of judgement in the Cape Town Test match”.
The statement comes in the wake of Australian skipper Steve Smith’s blatant admission of trying to tamper the condition of the ball during the third Test of the ongoing four-match Test series against South Africa following which he had been handed a one match suspension and a fine of 100 per cent of his match fees by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
“Like many, I’m deeply troubled by the events in Cape Town this last week, and acknowledge the thousands of messages I have received, mostly from heartbroken cricket followers worldwide,” Waugh was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“The Australian Cricket team has always believed it could win in any situation against any opposition, by playing combative, skilful and fair cricket, driven by our pride in the fabled Baggy Green. I have no doubt the current Australian team continues to believe in this mantra, however some have now failed our culture, making a serious error of judgement in the Cape Town Test match.”
Steve Waugh is the most successful skipper in the longest format of the game with an enviable record of 41 victories from 57 matches (72 per cent). He was also one of the crucial members to draft the ‘Spirit of Australian Cricket’ pledge back in 2003 along with his deputy Ricky Ponting and then women’s team captain Belinda Clark.
“In 2003, we modified the Spirit of Cricket document originally created by the MCC, to empower our players to set their own standards and commit to play the Australian way,” he further added. We must urgently revisit this document, re-bind our players to it and ensure the spirit in which we play is safe-guarded for the future of the sport, and to continue to inspire the dreams of every young kid picking up a bat and ball and for every fan who lives and breathes the game.”
Although the ICC has handed out its judgment, Cricket Australia are conducting an individual probe of their own and are expected to dish out a sterner punishment for everyone who were involved in the nasty act.
“A focused and balanced perspective is needed in the condemnation on those involved in this, with a clear and critical consideration to the social impact and mental health of all players,” Waugh added.
“I will support all positive action to ensure an outcome for the betterment of the game, regaining the trust and faith of every fan of cricket.”