Entire cricket fraternity is shaken with the Sandpaper Gate scandal. Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly slammed the Australian team for their “win at all cost” attitude.
Labeling the act of ball-tampering by Steven Smith and his team as sheer stupidity he said, “Steven Smith need not have to do it (ball tampering). I think what Smith did or David Warner did or Bancroft did was absolute stupidity.”
Following the confession of ball-tampering Smith was handed a one-Test ban by the ICC along with vice-captain David Warner. Australian skipper is charged for tampering with the ball to get undue advantage in the ongoing Test series against South Africa.
Bancroft has tampered with the ball and was fined 75% of his match fee as well.
Ganguly was quoted saying, “Actually, I think he (Smith) had a brain fade. I thought it was for the sake of just saying when he last said in India that he had a brain fade. But after this incident I thought he actually had a brain fade.”
Last year playing Test against India at Bangalore, Smith sought dressing room advice from the management to go for DRS review which was not permissible under the rules. Later on, he commented on having a brain fade moment.
Ganguly further added, “This idea of win at all cost (of the Australians) is not right. There was this underarm delivery in a Test against New Zealand in 1981. That is the way Australia have been playing cricket.”
“In the contest in 2008, there was only one side playing with the spirit of the game. I was batting at 60-odd and Ricky Ponting got me out one bounce. After I got out, the Test match was different.”
Harbhajan Singh, former Indian spinner also joined the discussion and showed his dissatisfaction over the punishments handed over to Smith and others by ICC.
He said, “Without any proper investigation and without any proof (in the Monkeygate scandal in 2008), I was handed three-match ban and here you see the player (Bancroft) who was actually involved in ball tampering was let off with a fine of 75 percent of match fee.”
“Both Smith and Bancroft should have been given harsher punishments. I will not say ban of 6 months or life ban but maybe 2 or 3 matches.”