India legend Sachin Tendulkar gave his support to Cricket Australia’s decision to suspend Steve Smith and David Warner from top-level cricket for a year over the ball-tampering scandal.
A statement from CA said Smith and Warner had been suspended from “all international and domestic cricket” while opening batsman Cameron Bancroft has been banned for nine months over the ball-tampering incident during the third Test in South Africa.
Tendulkar took to Twitter on Wednesday to say the right decision was made, stating: “Cricket has been known as a gentleman’s game. It’s a game that I believe should be played in the purest form. Whatever has happened is unfortunate but the right decision has been taken to uphold the integrity of the game. Winning is important but the way you win is more important.”
Cricket has been known as a gentleman's game. It's a game that I believe should be played in the purest form. Whatever has happened is unfortunate but the right decision has been taken to uphold the integrity of the game. Winning is important but the way you win is more important— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 28, 2018
However, former leg-spinner Shane Warne believes the Australia ball-tampering scandal has been blown out of proportion and the punishments handed to Smith, Warner and Bancroft are excessive.
Warne, who was handed a one-year suspension in 2003 after testing positive for a banned substance, says the reaction to the incident has gone over the top.
“To hear that the Australian cricket team had been involved in pre-mediated cheating is something that is embarrassing. There is no way you can condone it,” he said on his Facebook page.
“We are all so hurt and angry and maybe we weren’t so sure how to react. We’d just never seen it before.
“But the jump to hysteria is something that has elevated the offence beyond what they actually did, and maybe we’re at a point where the punishment just might not fit the crime.
“The hysteria has gone world wide, and everyone that dislikes the way the Australian cricket team has played, and over the past five or so years there have been rumblings about the way this team has gone about things, have been given the opportunity to lay the boots in. Their actions were indefensible, and they need to be severely punished. But I don’t think a one year ban is the answer.”
Former Australia captain Steve Smith and opener David Warner have both been handed one-year bans for their part in the ball-tampering crisis which has engulfed the nation’s Test team, with Cameron Bancroft given a nine-month suspension.
Here we take a look at what the financial implications are likely to be for Smith and Warner.
Smith and vice-captain Warner were among the high earners players in the squad with wages – including bonuses – of around Australian $2 million (Dh5.6m) each.
In the wake of the fall-out from the scandal, Warner also stepped down from his role as skipper of Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad, whom he helped take to a first title in 2016. Both players had contracts worth Australian $2.4m dollars (Dh6.7m), with Smith retained by Rajasthan Royals for the 2018 campaign. However, following confirmation of Cricket Australia’s stance, the IPL confirmed both men would be banned “with immediate effect from participation” in the Twenty20 tournament this year.
Income from endorsement deals is also likely to start to dry up. One of Warner’s commercial partners LG confirmed “in light of recent events” that the electronics company would not be renewing their partnership, which was coming towards the end of the current deal. A spokesperson for Toyota Australia, meanwhile, revealed the car manufacturer was “aware of Cricket Australia’s decision” adding “we are working with David Warner and his management team regarding this situation.”
Aged 28 and the top-ranked Test batsman in the world, Smith was very much a marketable asset before the events in South Africa. The former Australia captain had long fronted Weet-Bix television commercials, while also being a global ambassador for sportswear giant New Balance. However, images of Smith have been removed from the website of the breakfast cereal, and it remains to be seen how the fallout will impact his other personal financial relationships. Cricket Australia’s leading sponsors Magellan, a fund management group, and travel partner Qantas both having also expressed dismay at the events surrounding the team.
Cricket Australia is close to renegotiating its broadcast rights. According to reports, the board was expecting a bid of around AUS$ 1 billion (Dh2.8b) for the broadcast rights. However, due to market conditions and the ongoing scandal a bid of around AUS $700 million (Dh1.9b) seems more realistic.
“It’s hard to put a dollar figure as to how much this particular issue will cause losses for Cricket Australia,” sports management lecturer at Deakin University was quoted as saying by ABC. “They are not going to get that [$1 billion], and I think it’s probably going to be closer to the $600-700 million mark.”
Cameron Bancroft, 25, was handed a nine-month ban for his actions in scratching the ball with sandpaper.
And as CA announced its decision and the trio learnt of their fate, cricket stars and experts had a mixed reaction to the suspension.
Below we take a look at some of the tweets:
Steve Smith I think is a good guy who made a huge mistake … He needed punishing but I think this is too harsh … Bancroft who I don’t know was led astray but deserved punishing but again too harshly IMO … The other guy I really don’t care about …
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 28, 2018
Many think the Bans are harsh (Me Included) but the precedent has now been set by CA … They realised they had to send a message across the whole game … With what these players will lose out on I am sure the shock wave will do its job …
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 28, 2018
I’ve woken up this morning actually gutted for Smith, Warner & Bancroft.
Yes they were involved and will be sanctioned but I’m afraid they weren’t the only ones(& I don’t think anyone else believes they were)…
I hope they get a fair trial.
— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) March 28, 2018
I honestly do not believe any other country would have handed its captain and lead player a 12 month ban for attempted ball-tampering
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 28, 2018
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) March 28, 2018
So with the one year ban on Smith and Warner and also a 2 year captaincy ban on both, think India will be favourites when they tour Australia later this year. Wonder, who will captain Australia at the World Cup. Aaron Finch ?
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) March 28, 2018
Whoa…12 months ban for both Smith and Warner. Don’t see either of them playing in the IPL too. #SandpaperGate
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 28, 2018
Good job that Steve smith admitted & plead guilty for wrong doing ..
But what a waste of good captain & a great batsman.. lesson for all the cricketers to be on the right side of the game ..
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) March 28, 2018