I’m certainly surprised that they were stupid enough to think they could get away with it. And I am disappointed that, among a committe meeting of the “leadership group”, there wasn’t one that said, “Are you fucking kidding?” One errant idiot acting alone would be bad enough.
However on the whole it is no great surprise to me. I think the team has a poisonous culture all the way down from the top. And has had for quite some time. I am often embarrassed to be an Australian cricket supporter.
I see both Smith and Warner have stood down (for this Test). Paine is the captain. I agree with Don’t Ask - how on earth did they think they’d get away with it. And as Wallaby said What’s the point- the bowling attack is pretty good…
I am sure other tems have conspired to do something similar but that is never an excuse nor gives you moral grounds. I would sooner lose the series without winning a game (I still remember 1970) rather than endure this.
Cricket has a long history of shady practices and my own country is no better and no worse than any other so I’m not going to take a holier-than-thou stance but…it is the sheer nonsense of doing it in the era of HD 360 degree camera coverage, then denying it in such a schoolboy manner…hiding the evidence down your trousers?
I don’t think it shames Australian cricket as such but certainly it calls into question the judgement of the captain. It is right that they’ve both been replaced.
I’d have to agree. I think Greg Chapell was not much as a captain but a superb batsman, and Larwood very single minded (although with rather narrow views). Cricket is replete with examples of behaviour just within the rules- lets move on to Mankad
It is when the behaviour goes beyond the accepted norm that it makes my blood boil.
I was watching and I saw the when they were caught. A slow motion replay showed that Bancroft pulled his trousers slightly open and appeared to drop something inside. The explanation to the umpire was that it was just his sunglasses case. But his face looked like a deer in headlights. He knew he was in trouble and I think everyone knew something wasn’t quite right. I didn’t watch the post-match discussions but I guess they must have quickly admitted to it. My question is, what is this “leadership group” that Smith refers to? He was clear to say that the coaches didn’t know about it. So who did?
One interesting line of thought I’ve heard from a few people is that, according to the Smith et al, this is the first time they’ve tried it and yet they’ve not really had too much trouble getting it to reverse previously…I get the feeling that the implications of that are left hanging somewhat without anyone wanting to say outright “they’ve been doing this for a while”
I have no idea whether they have or haven’t but you can bet that, as we speak, footage of previous tests are being scrutinised by sports news desks the cricketing world over.
I remember, as a 12-year-old Aussie, being ashamed of the underarm bowling incident. I don’t think i’ve ever met a single person in Australia who thought it was a good idea.
But i actually think that Greg Chappell might have performed a valuable public service for the nation of New Zealand. The underarm incident has become the go-to reference for any Kiwi who wants to whine about anything related to Australia. You’d think that the constant All-Black victories in the Bledisloe Cup would be enough to keep a rugby-mad nation happy, but no; you can’t talk about trans-Tasman sport without some Kiwi dredging up the underarm fiasco. I think its value as a cultural touchstone, almost four decades later, has far outweighed its short-term problems. New Zealand should give Chappell some sort of national award for providing them with such a perfect vehicle for their inferiority complex.
As for this incident, i think it’s a disgrace. I was particularly baffled by Steve Smith’s statements in the wake of its discovery. He went on with a whole bunch of bullshit about “poor choice” and “deeply regretful” and “not proud” and “embarrassed.” That sort of excuse might have some weight if the cheating were a quick, spur-of-the-moment decision made by one person in the pressure of a tight situation.
For example, if a bowler had been hit for a whole bunch of boundaries, and his temper was up, and he decided to tamper with the ball as he was walking back to his mark. It wouldn’t be an excuse, but you could at least buy the argument that it was a one-off error in judgment.
But when a group of senior players, including the captain, actually sit down beforehand, and engage in a conspiracy to cheat, then none of the bullshit excuses matter. Basically what he’s saying is, “I’m sorry we got caught.” And they’ll also have to do a lot to convince me that Lehmann didn’t know what was going on.
I didn’t post about this yesterday I was frazed from being out in western Sydney scoring the Sydney Shires cricket 2nd grade grand final.
My son doesn’t play in the 2nds. He plays with 5th grade Div 2. But the regular scorer was unavailable and the club hierarchy asked if I was available, probably as their Plan D or summat. Happy to help.
I was out there from 9:30am to 5:30am, probably cost me $40 in fuel & tolls. I got a nice salad roll, half hot cross bun and a decent dose of sun burn as recompense.
And our previously undefeated 2nd lost to keen rivals Warringah.* [Having scored over 400 to win the semi final they got rolled for 116 in the GF. In reply the opposition’s best bat scored 94no, their second best score was 8 and they squeaked home 9 down.]*
What I’d like to know is what the Cricket authorities and luminaries think happens when Smith/Warner and ilk go out on one of those preseason recruitment/self publicity tours of the junior competitions and as a consequent of their premeditated cheating is for some 10yo says “Mr Warner, I’m trying to develop reverse swing …. what’s the best way to tamper with the ball?”
I’ve played and coached juniors at sub district and park level for decades.
I’m a grass roots supporter because I love the game.
0.001% of the kids I’ve known could develop their ability. 100% could develop their attitude.
Methinks we should load them in a cargo plane for the trip home replete with a leaky rubber ducky and jettison them off about half way across the Indian Ocean … and tell them that if they can find MH370 then maybe they can play Test, First Class or Club again.
The art of reverse swing is that one side of the ball get roughed up more than the other. Then sweat is applied to the ball (which is legal) and the rough side gets marginally heavier than the smooth, causing the ball to swing the opposite way to conventional swing.
Conventional swing theory is based on aerodynamics with the shiny side (produced by applying sweat) moving through the air marginally faster than the rough side.
And you can hit one side of the ball (and thus rough it up) more reliably throwing it back to your teammate then you can bowling for real.
The thing that gets me about this is how bush league it is. Scraping the ball with sandpaper on the field? This sort of crap might happen down in the lower reaches of the club scene but you’d think the higher level players would have a bit more sense. It’s not the cheating so much as the idiocy that offends me.