Play It With a Straight Bat

What an incredibly shocking twist to such a fascinating test series!  I was livid when I saw the events unfold on the screen. In a couple of hours, disappointment mounted in and as the day progressed, I became extremely sad. I am a cricket fan and that’s how I felt.

Cricket Australia is trying to mellow down the severity of the current situation and has become the laughing stock of many international players. The brand ‘Australian Cricket Team’ is marred in an unabashed way and even time will tremble to heal this ignominy.

I am gutted to see Steve Smith’s legacy tarnished like this, Warner’s brilliance smeared with disdain and Bancroft’s career blemished with tampering.

In any sports, the coach plays an integral role in decision making and shockingly, Darren Lehmann as a coach has no say in Steve Smith’s ‘leadership group!!!’ It is unbelievable and surprises the cricketing fraternity, infuriates the journalists, angers the public and raises a question on the integrity of the Cricket Australia investigation team. Wake Up!

James Sutherland on the other hand still hasn’t accepted to call it ‘cheating.’ He politically ducked the question twice when asked by the journalist whether it is cheating or not. Why is he trying to hide what is already exposed? Why is he still living in a state of denial?

Smith’s leadership skills were put on display in this series and he failed. He failed miserably and disgracefully.

Expressions like ‘mental disintegration’ were put on display to defend the opprobrious behaviour of Australian players towards the opposing team members. Steve Smith openly trying to cheat the Decision Review System (DRS) against India was admittedly tagged as a ‘brain fade.’ And the current ball tampering is referred to as a ‘serious error in judgment.’ The expressionism of the Australian cricket dictionary is beyond comprehensible. I rest my case to these dual standards. Does anyone have a lighter, please?

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If no remedial actions are taken against the current culture of the team, such devious acts will occur in the future. This ‘win at all cost’ ethos preached to the players is giving them a leeway to entertain any means which gives them an advantage over the opposition. Michael Vaughan, the former England Captain, referred to the current Australian team as struggling with ‘identity problems.’ “This Australia team has got a huge identity problem. They are very self-righteous – they have been for a while. He said in an interview. “They talk the game they feel should be played – and then deliver what we saw in Cape Town.”

This incident has brought out the veiled identity of the Australian cricket team to the public eye. Smith’s leadership skills were put on display in this series and he failed. He failed miserably and disgracefully. He and his accomplices, Warner and Bancroft, not only shamed themselves among the cricketing world but also made the international media raise questions on the Australian culture, values and history. Ouch! This is a hard pill to swallow and I need a beer. Glub, glub, glub,…

I am gutted to see Steve Smith’s legacy tarnished like this, Warner’s brilliance smeared with disdain and Bancroft’s career blemished with tampering. I am a forgiving fan, so I’ll let go at some point, but there is an angry crowd out there and it will be hard to win back their trust. In the meantime, Cricket Australia needs to play it with a straight bat or else this disgraceful tag will be indelible.


Photos Credit: Sporting News

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