Who would’ve thought that the carelessness Australia sided with in resorting to ball-tampering would affect individual careers in such a nasty way? According to latest reports, Steve Smith and David Warner have been banned from representing Australia for national duties for 12 months. Even as the news comes across as a shocker for fans who have no visible sight of joy, there’s but little relief for Bancroft who despite not being banned for a year, has been asked to stay away for 9 months?
It’s a humbling feeling to know that in front of the collective spirit of the game, that deserves to remain spotless and clean, how little do individuals matter, despite them being ace performers.
Where does this leave the current side?
It’s the kind of feeling that strikes the minds of young soldiers when they are directly put out to face the line of fire. If this is not the kind of feeling that would have overwhelmed the current Australian team that just what would suffice?
Thanks to the ball-tampering saga, uncalled for and unanticipated that it may have been, Australia captain Steve Smith, his opener Cameron Bancroft and vice-captain David Warner have been sent back home to Australia. This is when there is a decider to be played at Johannesburg.
Therefore, for lack of better words, it ought to be said the Cape Town fiasco brought a premature end of series for three vital batsmen of the Australian side. The troika not only being at the receiving end of some vitriolic criticism from home fans but also having their reputation go up in flames.
Amid the enveloping darkness, there’s little respite
In what is also a pleasant development- particularly from an Australian perspective- coach Darren Lehmann is going to stay on in the position of the team’s coach, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland informed.
This is both pleasing- if you are an Australian- and also tantamount to flare up a volley of questions since overseeing the progress of players and the game, the coach’s responsibility is sacrosanct in respect to a contest.
So what happens with the troika’s exit
Creating a last minute urgent buffer, Cricket Australia has announced that opening batsman Matt Renshaw, ODI specialist Glenn Maxwell and, resourceful opener Joe Burns will be featuring in the final test; a contest that rests the potential to direct Australian cricket in the near future.
Earlier this week James Sutherland held a press conference and made an impassioned speech referring to the unwarranted episode that has engulfed Australian cricket in flames. Speaking to media, he shared, “I share the anger and disappointment of Australian fans and the broader Australian community about events that unfolded in Cape Town on Saturday.”
With reputations at stake and a lot of damage control to be done, the forthcoming Test could be a fitting moment that either lifts Australian side to assuage a regrettable incident or plummet to despair. But as a result of the shambolic conduct of Smith and Warner, both have resigned from their respective leadership roles for IPL franchises- Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad.