Cheating is cheating… Great cricketers furious over Steve Smith’s appointment as vice-captain

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New DelhiOnce again there is a ruckus in the Australian cricket team due to the ‘sandpaper scandal’. Australia named Pat Cummins as captain just ahead of the Ashes series after Tim Paine stepped down as captain, while appointing the former captain as their deputy. The veterans don’t like this. Australian cricket legend and great spinner has openly criticized this decision of Cricket Australia. On appointing Steve Smith as the vice-captain of the team ahead of the Ashes series, Ian Chappell said, “If I had cheated as an Australian captain, they (CA) would have snatched my job and asked me to resign from the game.” ‘ Chappell’s remarks have drawn attention again to the ball-tampering episode during the third Test against South Africa in 2018. The then Australian captain Smith, his vice-captain David Warner and teammate Cameron Bancroft were banned from the Games for several days for molestation. Chappell said on Wide World of Sports Radio on Saturday, ‘Why is Steve Smith seen differently than David Warner for punishment? In fact, I think Steve Smith had more offense. A captain should have known about this fraud, he should have found out and he should have done something about it. Chappell said that if he had done so he would never have been forgiven, perhaps closing the door for him for the rest of his life. ‘Cheating is cheating, whether it is a major fraud or a small one, it is still cheating in my book. I also made a lot of mistakes but I didn’t cheat. And if I had cheated Australia Cricket would have asked me to resign, they would have snatched my job. Shane Warne, on the other hand, is not happy that former captain Steve Smith may return to the captaincy role, but David Warner will still remain under suspension from captaining or vice-captaining his country during his cricketing career. Warne has demanded Australian player Marnus Labuschagne to be made the vice-captain. Warne wrote in a column, “We all love Steve Smith and we are proud that he will again be the best Test batsman in the world, but he should not have been the vice-captain of the Australian team.” Everyone makes mistakes, but the punishment that was given to Steve Smith was very serious. In 2018, a controversy erupted during the third Test against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town, in which the then Australian captain Smith, his vice-captain David Warner and teammate Cameron Bancroft were banned for different periods of time. In addition to the one-year suspension, Smith was also banned from captaincy for two years, while Warner, the then vice-captain, was also banned for life with a one-year ban.

(With inputs from IANS)

[Attribution to NBT]

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