Kolkata: Legendary South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis on Sunday termed the ball-tampering scandal by Australian players as a “big wake up call” for cricketers around the world, adding that everybody should now know where to draw the line.
Australian captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were slapped with a one-year international ban, while opener Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months as Cricket Australia (CA) cracked the whip on the errant trio for their role in the ball-tampering scandal during the third Test in Cape Town.
“I think there has been a lot of media and a lot of talk over what has happened in the last few days. It’s probably taken up too much of everybody’s time.
“I can’t add to that too much but I think it’s just been a wake up call for everyone in international cricket. We need to look after this game and make sure we play in the right spirit and the right way,” Kallis told reporters on the sidelines of Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) jersey launch at the team hotel here.
Kallis is the head coach of the two-time champions and was present on the occasion along with skipper Dinesh Karthik, his deputy Robin Uthappa, chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell, U-19 World Cup winners Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill and Kamlesh Nagarkoti among others.
“It’s just made players all around the world aware that you have to be careful of what you do. So like I said it’s going to be a big wake up call,” Kallis added.
South African fast bowler Dale Steyn, meanwhile, revealed that he is targeting a stint with English county Hampshire in June as his comeback to competitive cricket.
Steyn, 34, has seldom played in the past two years because of injuries.
But he told SuperSport television on Sunday that he was close to full fitness after missing the series against Australia following his latest setback, a heel injury suffered in the first Test against India in January.
“I could get through 12 or 15 overs but that’s not enough to be competitive in a Test match,” he said.
Steyn is just two short of Shaun Pollock’s South African Test record of 421 wickets. He is likely to have another chance to break the record when South Africa tour Sri Lanka in July and August.
“The Proteas don’t play for quite a while,” said Steyn.