Australians awoke on Sunday to news the national cricket team deliberately cheated, and former captain Michael Clarke hoped he was just dreaming.
“WHAT THE …… HAVE I JUST WOKEN UP TO. Please tell me this is a bad dream,” Clarke tweeted.
The team, in a plot led by captain Steve Smith and senior players, confessed to ball tampering against South Africa in the third test at Cape Town on Saturday.
Cameron Bancroft of Australia talks to the umpire on the third day of the third cricket test between South Africa and Australia at Newlands Stadium, in Cape Town, South Africa, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Halden Krog)
Cameron Bancroft carried out the tampering by using yellow adhesive tape to pick up dirt and rub it on the ball to rough it up in an attempt to get it to reverse swing on day three at Newlands. But Bancroft was caught doing it on the field by television cameras, and then attempted to hide the evidence by shoving the tape down his trousers before he was questioned by umpires.
Smith said he has no plans to resign.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland scheduled a news conference on Sunday in Melbourne.
Australia trails South Africa by 294 runs. The four-test series is level 1-1.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan was scathing in his criticism of the Australians.
“Steve Smith, his Team & ALL the management will have to accept that whatever happens in their careers they will all be known for trying to CHEAT the game,” Vaughan tweeted.
Another former England captain, Nasser Hussain, accused Australia of a double standard.
“The Australian camp has been lecturing people lately on how the game should be played and a line that shouldn’t be crossed,” Hussain told Britain’s Sky Sports. “Some of the stuff that has come out of the Australian camp, especially, has been laughable.
“Well, it looks like they’re on the wrong side of the line here. It looks terrible, a premeditated move to get reverse swing and a blatant attempt to ball tamper.”
The Daily Telegraph in Sydney headlined: “Smith’s shock admission: We’re cheats.”
“Dark day for Australian cricket as Steve Smith admits plans to cheat,” the Sydney Morning Herald added.
Former Australia legspinner Shane Warne said: “I don’t care who you are, you can’t tamper with the ball. I know the Australian sides I played in never did anything like that.”
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