The Eyes of the World

Perhaps the most striking thing from an English perspective is that James Sutherland’s press conference was carried live on all the news channels plus Sky Sports News, meaning that the viewing audience for it will have been far in excess of any actual cricket shown on either BT Sport or Sky Sports. There is a significant irony in that on the one hand it indicates that whatever the problems the game has, there is still the vestige of significant interest in the sport, while on the other it means that for most, their only interaction with cricket is over this issue of ball tampering, and watching a suit talk about it.

The most interesting thing to come out of it was that despite press reports to the contrary (and a rare misstep from Nick Hoult who first broke it) Darren Lehmann remains in post as Australia’s coach.  Of all the expectations for the statement, this was perhaps the most startling.  The suggestion made that only three players were involved in any way is pushing at the envelope of what’s plausible; the idea that the coach had no idea at all is straining credulity, not least because of how swiftly he responded in radioing the 12th man to tell Bancroft he’d been rumbled.  Equally, if indeed he truly wasn’t aware, then why on earth not?  A side (or just three of the side) who cook up a plan of this nature without involving the coach, or indeed any of the coaching staff, is well and truly out of control.  It begs the question of how tenable that position can be even on the grounds of having no authority over the senior players, let alone the likelihood of innocence.

For a board who have spent much of the time since the weekend emphasising how seriously they take this whole affair, it appears curiously as though they’ve still managed to underestimate the anger in Australia about it.  Whether Lehmann staying on is remotely sustainable has to be open to question.  There has been much comment about the team culture that has led to this point, and that has certainly happened on Lehmann’s watch, so Cricket Australia are leaving themselves open to accusations that they aren’t especially bothered by that, despite their protestations to the contrary.

One thing that is certain is that the lawyers have been all over this, hence the delay in announcing the punishments for the players involved.   Smith, Warner and Bancroft have all been sent home, to learn their fate over the next 24 hours.  With significant penalties indicated, it could well be that the rumours of bans for up to a year may be correct.  There’s a disconnect here, for that would far exceed what would seem to be an appropriate response to the crime, but Cricket Australia are facing a meltdown in terms of the public reaction, and will want to make examples of them, and at the same time as absolving everyone else.

Here again there’s a contradiction – to do that at the same time as keeping the coaching staff in place and acquitting them of all guilt – and indeed responsibility – has to smack of scapegoating  since the idea that this was done by three players, and only three players, with no one else aware and no one else in any way subject to censure beggars belief.  Certainly, should the punishment be particularly heavy handed, it may be that we haven’t remotely heard the last of it, for there will be little incentive for them to stay silent and toe the company line.

These remain early days, which is perhaps why an instant response to it is the most honest one, but the failure to be as open in reply as indicated does seem to have stored up trouble for the future.  It’s no clean break, and it leaves far more questions than answers.  Perhaps the ability of any administrative organisation that there is no situation, no matter how bad, that can’t be made worse applies here.  The response of the Australian media will be interesting, and the feeling has to be that they won’t be especially supportive.


55 thoughts on “The Eyes of the World

  1. Silk Mar 27, 2018 / 6:08 pm

    A whitewash. I have no desire to see anyone banned for a year but how Lehmann can stay on is beyond me. He’s lost control, at best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone Mar 27, 2018 / 6:57 pm

      Totally agree. I’m not actually sure where I stand on some of the rumours about year long bans for various players, but I am very sure that the idea you would exempt the coach completely is beyond me too.


    • Alec Mar 27, 2018 / 7:47 pm

      It’s now officially terrible that England drew the Melbourne test.

      Australia’s failure to complete the ritual humiliation means they deprived us of opportunities to make jokes about what is the funniest/worst whitewash of the winter.

      It’s official, Australia’s cricket team is a collection shit blokes


    • dlpthomas Mar 28, 2018 / 2:33 am

      It may be that the ACB are seeking legal advise about how to dismiss Lehmann. My crack-pot theory is that after the team arrive back in Australia. Leahmann will quietly resign. The ACB will be rid of him and he can pursue other cricket-related jobs with his reputation still (relatively) intact. That way everybody wins.


      • thelegglance Mar 28, 2018 / 8:04 am

        Lehmann is contract only for one more year. He doesn’t need to be openly sacked, he can be paid off as a ‘mutual agreement’ quite easily.


  2. Sri.Grins Mar 27, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    it is that famous creature the ‘escape goat’ at work. 🙂


    • thelegglance Mar 27, 2018 / 6:32 pm

      I actually put that in and then removed it as I’d done that gag before!


      • Sri.Grins Mar 27, 2018 / 6:44 pm

        :-). I was hoping to see it in the article. I knew somebody had used it in the past but was not sure who. But, perfect for today. 😀


  3. Mark Mar 27, 2018 / 6:46 pm

    Yup, the lawyers are all over this. Can CA prove the coach was involved? If not, and if the players and CA are happy to see the back of Warner you have the perfect compromise.

    It’s a dogs dinner, and looks like a cover up of a cover up. I particulary liked the personal apology to the Aussie Kids. (Oh think of the kids…… the poor kids.) Nice touch!!

    And you know it’s serious because he informed the press conference there were two…..not one…..but two ICC integrity officers. Integrity officers are springing up like mushrooms.

    This has all the hallmarks of Bearings bank. When Nick Leason was the fall guy. The trader who broke the bank. But bizarrely the same trader who the management didn’t have a problem with till he brought the whole structure crashing down. Followed by much clutching of pearls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • KidVicious Mar 28, 2018 / 11:36 am

      You mention the lawyers at work Mark, and I’ll try and not say anything too litigious. This is where the ‘crisis managers’ in CA will really earn their dollar, turning this shitstorm into an ‘opportunity’

      Are CA completely naïve to think that the Australia team is innocent in this but for a few bad eggs?. Are they completely clueless as to not have any idea that pushing the laws (both written and unwritten) of the game is a characteristic behaviour of this team? Are they going to sacrifice any of their highly talented and much praised bowling attack if they can avoid it? Hell no. The just need a fall guy (or two), to make it only look as though they are tidying up the image of Australian sport.

      Step forward Mr Warner. By all accounts a complete arsehole without much public appeal. A disruptive influence, a risk to sponsors, not blessed with intelligence and someone who was very publically vocal during the recent pay dispute. A guy very capable of making his own noose.

      Simultaneously remove a conflict and boost their public image. Win-win from them if they pull it off. I suppose the only question is whether the Aussie press and public will buy into it as much as the English did during the ‘difficult Winter’

      God I’m becoming cynical, and I can’t even get on the moral high ground and saying the England team are much better


      • Elaine Simpson-Long Mar 28, 2018 / 3:05 pm

        when I consider that KP, yes I know I am sorry, was made a scapegoat mainly for looking out a window and whistling, you will forgive me if I laugh this happening to Warner one of the most unpleasant and thick plonkers you could hope to meet.


  4. Mark Mar 27, 2018 / 8:17 pm

    So The ECB don’t leak, and CA think the Australian team didn’t cheat.

    And these are two out of what is laughably called the big three of world cricket. . And you can’t throw a cat without hitting an integrity officer these days or be lectured to about “trust.”

    Someone should do a comedy. Carry on cricket. Barbara Windsor could do jokes about ball tampering, and hiding stuff down your knickers.


  5. Cricketjon Mar 27, 2018 / 8:22 pm

    As long as Darren Lehmann is played by Bernard Bresslaw and James Sutherland by Kenneth Williams, I am happy to sanction Ms Windsors inclusion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LordCanisLupus Mar 27, 2018 / 8:25 pm

      Jim Dale as Alastair Cook / Steve Smith. Sid James as David Warner. Terry Scott as Uncle Fester Lehmann (oh, you have Bresslaw). OK, Terry Scott as Giles Clarke.

      This one has legs,

      Liked by 1 person

          • Rohan Mar 27, 2018 / 8:33 pm

            Definitely, catchphrase ‘with aplomb’ to which one could reply ‘ooh Alistair’….


          • northernlight71 Mar 27, 2018 / 9:53 pm

            Kenneth Connor has to be Paul Downton. He was a master at playing the slightly tragic, deluded self-important role. Charles Hawtrey’s far too good to waste on Downton. He could do a great number as the painfully out-of-his-depth Strauss?


          • Silk Mar 28, 2018 / 8:20 am

            Personally I think Hawtrey as Cook opposite Jim Dale’s Steve Smith would be hilarious.

            Obviously if we could weave Aggers into the story somehow…


        • Rohan Mar 27, 2018 / 8:31 pm

          That could be David Lloyd as a weird cameo? Charles hawtrey is a difficult one to place with current players, I could only think of some suitable ex players…….


          • oreston Mar 27, 2018 / 11:00 pm

            I’d have him play David Warner. Just because it would be so utterly wrong and such a bizarre portrayal that you could have a lot of fun with it.


    • Mark Mar 27, 2018 / 9:20 pm

      If you like the carry on films, and haven’t seen this from about 20 years ago it’s quite eye opening about the real life of Sid James, and some of the other actors. Their real lives were more crazy than the films.


    • Elaine Simpson-Long Mar 28, 2018 / 3:06 pm

      but who would Kenneth Wiliams play ‘Infamy infamy they’ve all to it infamy’


  6. Cricketjon Mar 27, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    Remember to put plenty of paper down first. [ At your Convenience, 1968]


  7. dlpthomas Mar 27, 2018 / 9:33 pm

    An update from James Sutherland

    Dear Australian Cricket Fans,

    I would like to provide you with a further update on the situation with the Australian Men’s Cricket Team. We appreciate the concern you have regarding this situation and we wanted to ensure that you received this news directly from us.

    I have recently concluded a meeting with the Cricket Australia Board in which we discussed the findings to date of the investigation into the incident in Cape Town. The initial outcomes and actions are as follows:
    Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been officially reported for breaching Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct and will depart the squad immediately.

    The preliminary findings have confirmed that prior knowledge of the incident in Cape Town was confined to only the three players reported.

    Sanctions are expected to be announced within the next 24 hours.

    Tim Paine has been endorsed as Captain of the Australian Men’s Test Team.

    Matthew Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns will fly to Johannesburg today to join the squad for the Fourth Test against South Africa.

    In addition to sanctions for the individuals involved, Cricket Australia will initiate an independent review into the conduct and culture of our Australian men’s teams. The review will be an important step in rebuilding and restoring your pride in our Men’s teams.

    Our teams have a responsibility as role models to ensure they uphold the values Australians expect, and to inspire us through the way they play.

    Further, the health and welfare of our players and other staff is of the utmost priority. The Team Psychologist is with the team and providing support, while a number of players and staff have family and friends with them in South Africa.

    The last few days have provided the strongest of indications of the passion Australians have for cricket and the Australian Men’s Team. Fans have provided a consistent voice regarding their expectations and we have been listening. We greatly value the feedback we receive from the Australian Cricket Family and will take the necessary steps to address your concerns.

    James Sutherland
    Chief Executive Officer – Cricket Australia


    • thelegglance Mar 27, 2018 / 9:35 pm

      As poor as the press conference was, whoever writes the emails to the fans supposedly from Sutherland is very good.


  8. jomesy Mar 27, 2018 / 10:10 pm

    Pendulum theory stands

    There’s no way, long term, CA can seek to keep this to three people.


  9. "IronBalls" McGinty Mar 27, 2018 / 11:35 pm

    I blame Saker…there I’ve said it…in the fullness of time I may well be proved not to be wrong!


    • "IronBalls" McGinty Mar 27, 2018 / 11:37 pm

      “Give it a little rub Banny, she’ll be right”


      • oreston Mar 28, 2018 / 5:58 am

        With all the Carry On references in this thread I think we should be particularly careful to avoid possible unfortunate double entendres 🙂

        Hypothetically speaking, of course, if the use of illicit ball rubbing techniques (Ooh! Matron!) were having an advantageous effect on his bowlers’ performances (such as out of the blue their being able to obtain unusually early and/or pronounced reverse swing) it would surely beggar belief that an experienced fast bowling coach – knowing his players and their individual capabilities – wouldn’t at least have an inkling of what was afoot. Either that or he’d have to be gullible and the players to have convinced him, despite the evidence of his own eyes, that nothing was untoward. In which latter case maybe he wouldn’t be such a good coach after all. So in such circumstances I tend to think that a bowling coach would have to be either complicit in ball tampering (even if only tacitly so) or else incompetent. Neither of those alternatives would make a very good argument for them to remain in their role. Certainly not within a cricketing entity that placed a high premium on integrity.


    • Silk Mar 28, 2018 / 8:21 am

      I knew there was a Selvey angle in there somewhere!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. thelegglance Mar 28, 2018 / 8:26 am

    12 month bans for Smith and Warner. 9 months for Bancroft.

    Permission to be a smug git sirs?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miami Dad's Six Mar 28, 2018 / 8:55 am

      Reduced on appeal to…? India tour Australia next winter – reckon they’ll want them back for that.


    • RufusSG Mar 28, 2018 / 9:03 am

      Permission granted.

      Personally I think 12 months is probably a bit long in and of itself, but Australia’s schedule is relatively quiet for the rest of the year, with none of the their series particularly high-profile: my guess is that they made sure the ban included the Australian home summer (in particular the lucrative India series), where the Australian public tends to take far more notice of the cricket team and thus ensuring the punishment will sting more. Missing a few inconsequential LOI away series doesn’t really amount to much.

      It seems that Smith and Warner won’t play in the IPL either, since CA will definitely refuse them NOCs.


      • thelegglance Mar 28, 2018 / 9:21 am

        They’re talking about $200m knocked off the TV rights. That’s the reason for the degree of punishment, right there.

        It’s not about the crime itself, it’s the knock on effects and the outrage.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Topshelf Mar 28, 2018 / 9:27 am

    Dispassionately, 12 month bans are ludicrous, even if none of us are surprised that CA have gone this way. Personally, I’m struggling to find an ounce of sympathy for any one of them. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch and all that.

    What vexes me far more is that it is such a blatant whitewash. Only those 3 players were involved? Neither Lehmann nor Saker had a clue? Pull the other one, really.

    I don’t know how many of us here are swing bowlers, but the idea that any set of bowlers would let a bunch of thick batsmen anywhere near a cricket ball without knowing exactly what they planned to do to it is absurd. I play very social cricket now, and I still get nervous if I see even a spinner trying to shine the ball, as I can guarantee it will take me half an over to undo the damage!

    I have a hypothesis…

    Warner has been ball-tamperer-designate for a while now, using the ridiculous tape on his fingers to do the necessary scuffing. No idea whether there really was sandpaper hidden in it, as has been suggested by a few people, and was Iain O’Brien and Charles Dagnall’s immediate, possibly jokey, reaction.

    During the 2nd test, questions begin to be asked, and it’s felt that a change is necessary. Bancroft is deputed to take over those duties. Warner will instruct him in the dark arts. Turns out he’s not quite as good at it as Davey, not suffering from “finger injuries” being a bit of a pain, so they concoct a slightly stupider plan to move things along. The rest we know.

    In this scenario, you can therefore argue that no-one but the three scapegoats are guilty of the immediate “crime” at hand. The particular process they decided upon might have been confined to just them. But, I repeat, there is no way on earth that the general plan to alter the condition of the ball wasn’t a team-wide enterprise – for a start, everyone needs to be told to get the ball to Bancroft to “shine” it after every delivery.

    Now, I’m not so naïve to believe that only Australia fiddle with the ball to get it to reverse. Without some of what Lehmann called “techniques” there should have been no way to get the ball to reverse at Cape Town, as neither outfield nor pitch would do the job. Yet South Africa managed it just fine as well, albeit not as starkly – pun intended.

    Consensus seems to be that every professional team tampers, some better than others obviously. The fact that the most successful reverse-swinging counties are the ones with zips on their whites is a brilliant coincidence!

    In summary then, 3 players have been hung out to dry for being caught doing something everyone apparently does, even if not as blatantly and stupidly. The conspiracy and cover-up attempt is really what has done for them. Personally though, I’d much rather that something sensible about ball-tampering came out of it.

    If the team fessed up that they just pushed this particular “line” too far, then perhaps the laws could be changed to allow throws on the bounce again, while punishments for using external objects could be ramped up a couple of levels. Then amateurs and kids would see that reverse swing – which god knows bowlers need now more than ever – can be achieved without intention to deceive/cheat.

    Cricket is a weird enough game as it is – not walking is fine, except when it isn’t, sledging is funny expect when it isn’t, changing the condition of the ball is a skill, except when it isn’t, Mankads are wrong except when they’re not – that we really could do with at least one area of clarity. How CA deal with it is really their problem, but the ICC/MCC could use this opportunity to sort at least this one out.

    That’s about as likely as the truth coming out here, but we can always hope…

    Liked by 4 people

    • thelegglance Mar 28, 2018 / 9:37 am

      “I don’t know how many of us here are swing bowlers, but the idea that any set of bowlers would let a bunch of thick batsmen anywhere near a cricket ball without knowing exactly what they planned to do to it is absurd. ”

      Ok, that one made me giggle.


    • lionel joseph Mar 28, 2018 / 11:50 am

      This works very well from a bayesian perspective as well now that we know it was actually sandpaper.

      It’s not the probability that only three of them knew about it versus that more people knew.

      It’s the probability that only these three knew about this particular method versus the probability that all the bowlers and boof collectively approved such a monstrously idiotic idea.

      Bright fucking yellow sandpaper. There wasn’t a single person who said – “This is a stupid idea and we’ll get caught”. Bright yellow…..


  12. Mark Mar 28, 2018 / 9:48 am

    So a one year ban for Smith, and a nine month ban for the rookie. (Although as Australia have little cricket in the next eight months its a bit of a paper tiger ban.) By the time they are back, the coach will have run his contract down. So no compensation needs to be paid. The only other person they have found involved is Warner. But notice the official line and sanction is because of ball tampering and not because of a poor team culture.

    This is for legal reasons is my guess. In a years time they will bring back Smith and Bancroft, but Warner? I expect CA to start talking in the same mystical language that came from the ECB concerning KP. We will hear a lot about the word “trust”, and “moving in a new direction”. But no firm allegations of what Warner has done wrong. That would open themselves up to legal action.

    Whatever else, Warner’s autobiography could be a classic.


  13. Topshelf Mar 28, 2018 / 10:25 am

    Warner has been done because it was his plan – as I hypothesised above, he says smugly.

    They’ve all been done for attempting to mislead match officials, public and CA during and after the match.

    Both Smith and Bancroft are found guilty of “(e) misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent, implementation and participants of the plan”.

    That’s the interesting one for me. It presumably refers to the “leadership group” comments; so it looks like they have been punished for suggesting they weren’t the only ones involved, when anyone with a brain in their head is already convinced they couldn’t have been…

    Oh, and it was sandpaper. A five-year-old wouldn’t have bought that tape story.


    • Topshelf Mar 28, 2018 / 10:32 am

      Missed this: Smith done for “(c) directing that evidence of attempted tampering be concealed on the field of play;”

      I thought that was Lehmann and Handscomb…


      • oreston Mar 28, 2018 / 10:55 am

        Clearly you didn’t get the memo 🙂 Repeat after me: “only three players, and no coaching staff, were involved. Only three players, and no coaching staff…”


    • dlpthomas Mar 28, 2018 / 11:14 am

      I don’t think too many people will be surprised about it being sand paper and not tape but it raises a few issues. Firstly, those who said Smith was brave for fronting up and admitting need to think again because he lied. Perhaps he realized that sand paper would sound worse than if they had just used tape. However, does it also raise questions about when this event was planned?

      Back in my day (no one’s fucking business how long ago that was) some players did carry sand paper to clean red marks of the edges of their bats. Do modern players still have sand paper lying round the dressing room? I have no idea but I can’t help wondering whether they planned this long before the lunch break and actually brought the sand paper to the ground with them specifically to alter the ball. Or maybe they carry sand paper because they have done it before. There remains a lot of unanswered questions.


  14. Grumpy Gaz Mar 28, 2018 / 12:30 pm

    There are bright sides to this whole affair. I find the reaction to the cheating quite welcome. Do people cheat in sport generally? Of course they do but at least when they do get caught in cricket there is outrage.

    Compare this to football; if you take performance enhancing drugs to gain a small benefit you get banned for life. However, throw yourself to the ground whilst performing a triple-salco (with twist) clutching your face and rolling over seventeen times in order to try and win a penalty, and thus gain a major advantage, you only get a yellow card if, and it’s a big ‘if’, you get caught.

    People say you can’t compare drugs cheats to diving, bollocks, you are cheating. At least in cricket people still get upset when they get caught doing it.

    “It’s terrible for cricket” no, it isn’t, because now the spotlight will finally turn on abusive sledging and acting like twats on the field and we may finally get a bit of backbone from those in charge.

    “Mind the windows Tino!” is funny, “What does Brian Lara’s cock taste like?” is not. If its abusive, get punished for it. Its funny how brave these guys get when they have the batsman outnumbered.

    Christ, now I sound like my dad 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  15. dlpthomas Mar 28, 2018 / 12:45 pm

    An update from James Sutherland

    Dear Australian Cricket Fans,

    The Cricket Australia Board met this afternoon (Melbourne time) to consider the final report of the investigation into the incident in Cape Town, which was conducted by Cricket Australia’s Head of Integrity at my direction.

    We understand the ongoing concern felt by you regarding this situation and I want to share the findings and sanctions with you directly.

    Summary of Sanctions

    The range of sanctions available to Cricket Australia under our Code of Conduct are extensive.

    The Board has considered these and determined that the following sanctions will be offered to each player in accordance with the Code of Conduct process:


    Suspension of 12 months from all international and domestic cricket


    Suspension of 12 months from all international and domestic cricket

    Cameron Bancroft

    Suspension of 9 months from all international and domestic cricket

    All three players will be permitted to play club cricket and will be encouraged to do so to maintain links with the cricket community.

    All three players will be required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket. This will be a condition of future selection.


    Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft will not be considered for team leadership positions until a minimum of 12 months after the conclusion of their suspension from international and domestic cricket. Any consideration of future leadership would be conditional on acceptance by fans and the public, form and authority among the playing group. David Warner will not be considered for team leadership positions in the future.

    As our Chairman David Peever said tonight, the sanctions issued are significant penalties for professional players and the Board does not impose them lightly. I believe that they properly reflect a balance between the need to protect the integrity and reputation of the game and the need to maintain the possibility of redemption for the individuals involved, all of whom have learned difficult lessons through these events.

    The key findings of the investigation, along with the sanctions summary (above) can be viewed here.

    As custodians of our great game, we are confident that we have acted carefully and responsibly, taking into account the impact this incident has had on the Australian cricket community and the players.

    As mentioned in my email to you this morning, Cricket Australia will also initiate an independent review into the conduct and culture of our Australian men’s teams as an important step in rebuilding and reestablishing your pride in Australian cricket. Further details will be announced shortly and we will keep you updated on the review as it progresses.

    I would again like to take the opportunity to express our appreciation for the feedback we have received from the Australian public. We recognise the damage this incident has done to the integrity and reputation of Australian cricket and we are committed to doing all we can to restore your faith in the men’s team and the game.

    James Sutherland
    Chief Executive Officer – Cricket Australia


  16. amit Mar 28, 2018 / 12:53 pm

    I was wondering about the sandpaper myself. Do the players actually carry it around in their kits? Why? How did they find it quickly in the dressing room?
    What I do find odd though, is that they were lying about the tools used, even as they were admitting to the guilt in the press conference. What were they thinking? Has there ever been a more incredible show of collective stupidity in a game?

    Warner’s time in international cricket is probably up. It would be a shame if Smith failed to return too.

    That being said, I think the fines / bans are justified even if they seem excessive – for national heroes, just as for our public servants and leaders, a higher standard of public behaviour is indeed essential.

    I am flummoxed when I read the English MSM defending Lehmann. Seriously?
    Border called him a nice guy but hey, he lost his team if it happened without his knowledge and if he knew, he didn’t deserve to survive. Mickey Arthur must be wondering indeed. This whole episode is truly bizarre.

    I may also be a bit annoyed, when I see Michael Vaughan trying to kick the Aussies down further in what is indeed a tough time. His holier than thou attitude just doesn’t cut it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zephirine Mar 28, 2018 / 1:15 pm

      Re Lehmann: the thing about a situation where you were either complicit or incompetent is that, while you’re damned either way, as long people don’t know which it was you can actually survive. Especially if you just brazen it out. Our politicians do this all the time.

      It brings us back to the question of what does a cricket national team coach actually do? Is it his job to control the players? Or merely to attempt inept cover-ups when they screw up their cheating?


    • northernlight71 Mar 28, 2018 / 1:45 pm

      The British MSM like Lehmann, He played for Yorkshire. He’s probably mates with everyone else’s mates. He’ll share a pint with the Selvey’s of this world and everybody will try and forget that time he was a racist and his general boorishness.
      No, I don’t really get it either. But then British cricket journalism has for some time been long on distraction and short on reality.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Mar 28, 2018 / 2:03 pm

        Yup, there is an English MSM club, and the likes of you and I aren’t in it.

        I actually take it as as a compliment I’m not in this club because if the last four years are any guide it’s not a club worth joining.


  17. BobW Mar 28, 2018 / 2:17 pm

    Some great posts on here. Loving the ‘Carry On’ idea. Made me laugh out loud.
    The only other thing I would say is that the bowlers had to be on it? You cannot just have the ball thrown to you and suddenly it has aged ten overs or so in a matter of a few minutes. I’d also want to know the umpires opinion too. They were meant to be checking the condition of the ball at the end of every over. As a (crap) swing bowler myself I used to nurse that ball when I bowled with it. Every time I got the ball back I was looking at it, working out where the best place to shine it was. In fact it used to annoy me if there was a designated polisher of the ball in the team. I’m the one bowling with it, I know what needs to be done to it.
    As I said there’s ore to this than meets the eye.
    I think this could also cause some cracks in the Australian team. Some guys have taken serious financial punishment whilst others have got away with it. Can’t see that one being left to lie.


  18. Cricketjon Mar 29, 2018 / 6:15 pm

    A more appropriate penalty for Smith would have been a lifetime ban on playing on dry wickets.


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