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Out of the tour, immediately!

With the Australian captain openly admitting to ball tampering on the third day of the third test at Cape Town, with the full knowledge of the act, Australian cricket has taken a beating (“Steve Smith and the ball tampering scandal: Where are we now?”, Gulf News, March 27). His statement ‘I am not proud of what happened: it is not in the spirit of the game’ sounds hollow. He also saw no need to step down from the captaincy! As one who has seen the entire action live on television, I have no doubt in my mind about their complicity. The culprit had hidden in his underwear a yellow looking object, which he used to disfigure and tamper with the ball. The clip of the brush between captain Steve Smith and South African player Kagiso Rabada had been blown out of proportion to get Rabada suspended. Why was no action against Smith taken, even though he too had made no attempt to avoid the collision? On the contrary, it seemed like Smith pushed his left shoulder towards Rabada. The reaction of Smith to the decision of the arbitrator only showed what is his view of ‘spirit’ of the game is. It is now up to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to show us how earnest they are in ensuring the dignity and spirit of the game.

From Mr N. V. Krishnan


An unfortunate act

I think the punishment given to the players is justified. Being banned for a year is an approprite decision because it teaches other players that such behavior is not acceptable and they can not get away with ball tampering and other such methods of cheating. For good players like Steve Smith, it will always be something that looms over his head, even after his 12-month ban is complete. What happened was unfortunate and the public is forced to ask the question: Was it really worth it?

From Ms Sanjana Raj


Stricter punishment needed

Cricketer Michael Clarke is keeping the possibility of returning as the captain of the Australian cricket team, open. While we could understand his sympathy for Smith, he himself is not a saint. He was the slip fielder who claimed former Indian captain Saurav Ganguly’s bounced catch during the Sydney fiasco Test and his Captain Ricky Ponting was prompt in raising his finger to out Ganguly. In fact, during that test, their one and only, so called ‘gentleman cricketer’, Adam Gilchrist, too claimed the catch of Rahul Dravid, and later on admitted to cheating. What about him inserting a golf ball to have a better grip of his bat during the World Cup finals in 2007? So, no Australian is a saint and they wanted to win matches only by hook or crook. It is high time the ICC take unbiased action against any player who cheats and tarnishes the gentleman’s game.

From Ms Kavitha Srikanth


Not surprising

Though some of the Australian cricketers of the past are critical of Steve Smith cheating, I fully endorse the views of former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell that Smith should not be the sole scapegoat for the dark day in Australian Cricket. This cheating incident is neither the first one nor is it going to be the last, unless sterner action is taken against the culprits. If Mohammad Amir and others could be suspended for five years, then Smith and company should also face the same fate. Since acts of acrimony and unsporting conduct are on the rise, it is the responsibility of the ICC to not just punish the guilty in this incident. The present punishment of one test ban and match fees is a pittance for the present day players. Sterner punishments would only arrest this type of cheating. With this mild punishment, the ICC and its officials have once again proved to be spineless. Wake up! Incidentally, we have a hunch that the same tactics could have been adopted by Smith and company during the recent Ashes Series.

From Mr N. Mahadevan


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