In the back of Australia’s ball-tampering controversy to give their bowler undue favour, Cricket Australia has sent back their three big stars home. Cameron Bancroft, who tried to bring a change in the seam of the ball with a yellow object, captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner faced criticism from all corner of the cricketing world.
Steve Smith and David Warner bore the burnt for their misdeed in Newlands Test as CA banned both of them for one-year for laying out a conspiracy of ball-tampering to help their bowlers get wickets in a match where South Africa was on supreme control of proceeding. As soon as CA announced their decision, Smith, and Warner were banned from playing the 11th edition of IPL. As a result, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad will miss two of their vital cogs in the forthcoming season.
Following this incident ICC banned Smith from one Test and Bancroft was given three demerit points and was fined 75 percent of match fee. Though Warner, whom everybody wanted to be removed from the team hotel, has been given a respite he did not suffer the backlash of CA as he was banned for one year in all three formats. Since CA banned Smith and Warner for a year that means Australia would miss them in the 2019 World Cup which will be a big upheaval in the world of cricket.
CA’s decision to give these two cricketers a punishment sent a strong message to the contemporary and future generation of cricketers but the cricketing world knows how important Smith and Warner’s role in Australian cricket teams. They are the heart of Australia’s batting attack as they are known for anchoring the innings of Australia from the top order.
Smith has already been regarded as the next Sir Don Bradman of Australia owing to his ability to score runs consistently which inspired Australia to win crucial series. In recent time, they have defeated England in the iconic Ashes series at home and won triangular ODI series which featured England and New Zealand which made it clear that Smith led Australia were on a right track as the biggest ever global cricket tournament is almost a year away. Hence, CA’s strict action on Smith and Warner that would be very hard to digest for Australia’s rather young side who will not only lose a captain but also two world-class batsmen.
However, Smith’s flawed captaincy and ‘brain-fade’ moments made him one of the worst captains of contemporary times. Earlier in 2017 during Australia’s tour of India Smith was seen seeking the help of dressing room whether he should take DRS or not that left everyone fuming. In South Africa, Smith’s team was in a better position with a 2-0 lead but the hosts levelled the five-match Test series beating the visitors by 322 runs in the fourth Test.
David Warner’s verbal duel with Quinton de Kock
Since, Warner, who was involved in a verbal war with Quinton de Kock earlier in the series, was out of form and Smith has been struggling to get his form back after scoring 56 in Durban Test their absence in the fifth Test may will not affect Australia’s bid for a series win in Australia but will stand-by skipper Tim Paine’s captaincy inspire Australia to win a series in the back of this image denting controversy.
Smith has scored 6199 runs at an average of 61.37 which is the best batting average in contemporary cricket. He is also the highest run scorers among the talented batsmen like Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli, Joe Root and David Warner who have been dominating the contemporary cricket. So, banning captain Smith would give a strong message to the cricketing world. However, Smith’s absence could affect their dominating image in Test cricket.
Thus, it will be interesting to see how this decision of CA goes down to Australian cricket. Will it affect Australian cricket or will it stop their ‘cheating’ in international cricket? There will be another concern whether Smith and Warner will be allowed to play in domestic cricket! If CA allows them to play in Sheffield Shield they will have a chance to make a return to the national team after serving the 12-month long ban. But, for the time being, the big question remains, what is ahead for Steve Smith and David Warner?