New Delhi: The ball tampering incident should not define Steve Smith and his two fallen teammates, according to Indian batsman Rohit Sharma, who said images of the former Australia skipper being escorted at Johannesburg airport and his tearful media conference in Sydney "resonated" with him.
Smith fought back tears as he claimed full responsibility for the ball-tampering scandal that destroyed his reputation, while David Warner and Cameron Bancroft also offered their apologies for the scandal that plunged Australian cricket into turmoil.
The developments in South Africa and Australia have not escaped Rohit's attention. "The video of Steve Smith being escorted at the airport and his most recent press conference resonated with me. The spirit of the game is of utmost importance there's no denying that," Rohit wrote on his twitter handle.
The swashbuckling batsman added, "They made a mistake and they accepted it. It would be unfair of me to sit here and question the board's decision but they are great players and I don't think this should define them."
Spin great Shane Warne pointed to a picture of Smith being escorted by airport security in Johannesburg. "This is disgraceful ! @stevesmith49 is not a criminal !!!!!" Warne had tweeted. With father Peter by his side, a visibly broken Smith faced an eager media after touching down in Sydney and broke down more than once while seeking forgiveness for plotting the now infamous ball-tampering episode in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
Apologies also came in from Warner, declared the chief plotter, and Bancroft, the man who was entrusted the job of tampering the ball with a sand paper.