Thursday, 28 October 2021

Australia ball-tampering bans ‘shocked’ world cricket: Ponting

LONDON: Ricky Ponting believes the lengthy bans given to former Australia captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft for their roles in March’s ball-tampering scandal in South Africa have been a beneficial “shock” to world cricket.

Smith and his deputy Warner were given 12-month bans by Cricket Australia, with batsman Bancroft – the man who sandpapered the ball in a bid to aid reverse-swing during a Test match in Cape Town – was given a nine-month suspension.

The issue was discussed during a two-day meeting at Lord’s concluded Tuesday of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) World Cricket Committee – of which Australia great Ponting is a member.

The committee, an advisory group whose chairman is former England captain Mike Gatting, has no power to implement decisions but makes suggestions to the International Cricket Council.

“As a group we were talking about the stance Cricket Australia took and how harsh that stance might have seemed to ban players for 12 months and nine months respectively,” Ponting told a press conference at Lord’s on Tuesday.

“It’s probably got the desired outcome, a kind of shock to world cricket.

“We have seen ball-tampering incidents happen probably more consistently over the last five or six years and to my mind it’s because little things have crept in that were allowed to get to a certain point and the tipping point was a pre-meditated act that the Australian players took part in South Africa.

“So I think we are all very supportive of the ICC stance to penalise anyone who steps out of line a lot more harshly than in the past.”

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