Australian cricketer Cameron Bancroft's clumsy bid to hid yellow sticky tape down his pants during the Newland tests has instigated a continental-wide outrage as the ball-tampering scandal has consumed the sporting and political world. The act was an attempt to make the ball swing or be replaced, but was captured live during the test.
@ICC incase you missed it he tried to hide the Sand Paper #SAvAUS #ProteaFire @News24 #SSCricket pic.twitter.com/dkpvfvSKcW
— JB (@kasi_jb) March 24, 2018
Steve Smith, who has been temporarily removed as captain admitted to overseeing the plot. The act of manipulating the game with external objects is not a new phenonium. However, that incident during the cricket match between Australia and South Africa has made its way into the English sphere with Prime Minister Theresa May even weighing in on the scandal.
This has to be the headline of the year... too funny! #StickyDicky #SandpaperGate #BalltamperingBancroft pic.twitter.com/v3P6ZEifjA
— Brent Lindeque (@BrentLindeque) March 25, 2018
I still can’t get my head around this #balltampering .. What were they thinking?
Surely keeping the integrity of sport has to be more important than winning 🏏
— Matt Giteau 🇦🇺 (@giteau_rugby) March 27, 2018
Australian TEN Eyewitness News called it 'the darkest day in Australia’s sporting history' while former Australia captain Steve Waugh told Cricket Australia of his deep hurt at the incident.
Like many, I'm deeply troubled by the events in Cape Town this last week, and acknowledge the thousands of messages I have received, mostly from heartbroken cricket followers worldwide.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also took time to respond to the affair:
It's not fair, it's not within the rules It's no wonder the public are outraged by it. I think the New Zealand public would be too if we had a recent occurrence of it on our soil as well.
It was quickly pointed out to Arden that former New Zealand cricketer Martin Crowe had confessed the Kiwi's tampered with a ball during a Pakistan test in 1990. Her response: 'Yes, there has been an acknowledgment that it's happened in the past.'
Back to Australia, their Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnball said he was 'shocked' and disappointed' while confirming he had contacted the CEO of Australian cricket.
I have expressed to him very clearly and unequivocally my disappointment and my concern about the events in South Africa. How can our team be engaged in cheating like this? It beggars belief.
Former Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson told Australian TV that Steve Smith and the leadership group should be handed life bans.
They should not get a match penalty they should just get flicked. I don't care who they are, they should be just see ya later. It’s a slur on everyone who's ever played cricket.
Veteran ABC commentator Jim Maxwell was nearly brought to tears:
I do not remember ever being as disappointed in an Australian team as I feel at the moment about what they did yesterday. It's so blatant and so stupid, immature, naive, I could go on. It was disappointing. Hugely disappointing. So uh... Sorry, I'm getting a bit emotional.
Today's latest development is that the Australia head coach Darren Lehmann will remain in his position with it claimed he had no knowledge of the affair, something former English cricketer seemed amused by.
Lehmann never knew - 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) March 27, 2018