Australian Cricketers have heaped disgrace and humiliation on the country, the Australian press said on Monday in blasting the “rotten” team culture under the current leadership.
The hard-hitting commentary follows captain Steve Smith admitting he cheated by hatching a plot to tamper with the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday.
Cricket is considered the national sport in Australia and the stunning developments have not gone down well.
“The cheating has hurt Australian cricket from helmet to boot,” it said in a commentary calling for Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland to stand down.
“In charge of the game for nearly two decades, Sutherland has done little to change the rotten culture of the sport at its most senior level.” It added that the scandal had dumped “disgrace and humiliation” on the nation.
Television footage showed Smith’s teammate Cameron Bancroft taking a yellow object out of his pocket while fielding in the post-lunch session on Saturday and appearing to rub it on the ball.
He was punished by the ICC with three demerit points and fined 75 percent of his match fee, while Smith was fined all his match fee and banned for a match.
Cricket Australia is conducting its own investigation into what happened, as calls mount for heads to roll.
Sydney Daily Telegraph sports writer Robert Craddock said Smith’s decision was not a moment of madness.
“Steve Smith’s reputation – and that of his team will never recover from this episode.” The Sydney Morning Herald was equally scathing, saying Australia’s cricket leadership had “lost the plot” and there will be a heavy price to pay.
“This has been a truly awful few weeks for Australian cricket whose reputation has hit a new low. Rehabilitation will be long and slow.”>