David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft were not the first and last cricketers to tamper with the ball or get involved in the process. However, what followed next was beyond anyone’s imagination. It became a hall of shame for Australia, and the Prime Minister demanded strict punishment against the three culprits.
Smith and Warner, the then captain and vice-captain, were handed a ban of one year. In addition, Steve was barred from taking up any leadership role for two years, but Warner’s sanction was for a lifetime. Bancroft was kept away from cricket for nine months.
The episode was re-opened again when Cricket Australia amended its code of conduct and gave Warner a chance to get his leadership ban revoked. However, the player left the process in between after accusing Cricket Australia of humiliating him. Since then, he has received support from players and former cricketers.
Smith, who never said anything about his teammate, has finally broken his silence.
“From my point of view, banning someone for life is fundamentally wrong,” Smith told reporters. “David served his time as I did. For us, he is the leader on and off the field. He is doing an excellent job, but it has been difficult for him. David has said he wants to get on with it and has our full support. Hopefully, he can have a big series against South Africa with the bat.”