First-degree cheating is first-degree murder: Cricket world slams 'weak' ICC in Australia ball-tampering scandal

In an apparent backlash to the quantum of punishment handed out to Australia captain Steve Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for ball-tampering, the cricket world termed the game's governing body as "weak" and "pathetic". 

First-degree cheating is first-degree murder: Cricket world slams 'weak' ICC in Australia ball-tampering scandal
Australia captain Steve Smith (Reuters)

In an apparent backlash to the quantum of punishment handed out to Australia captain Steve Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for ball-tampering, the cricket world termed the game's governing body as "weak" and "pathetic". 

Smith, along with the team's "leadership group", conspired to cheat by asking Bancroft to carry a foreign substance (sticky tape) and use it to alter the condition of the ball during Day 3 of the third Test against South Africa.

Smith and Bancroft later admitted in a press conference that it was a planned attempt, sending shockwaves in cricketing corridors across the world. As a result, Smith and vice-captain David Warner stepped down from their positions before the start of fourth day's play. 

Australia went on to lose the Test by 322 runs on Sunday, as Cricket Australia launched an investigation into the scandal.

The ICC then handed a one-match suspension to Smith and fined him 100 percent of his match fee. Bancroft was fined 75% of his match fee and handed three demerit points. 

However, cricket's eminent voices slammed ICC's decision, asking for sterner punishments that could set a precedent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a result of ICC's decision, Smith will miss the fourth and final Test in Johannesburg to serve his one-Test ban.

"The decision made by the leadership group of the Australian team to act in this way is clearly contrary to the spirit of the game," ICC chief executive David Richardson said in a statement. However, the quantum of punishment hasn't gone down well with the former players and cricket pundits.