Showing humour in the face of adversity is one way to cope with the problem. As the saying goes, “if you don’t laugh, you’d cry…” and that seemed to be the theme with Triple J’s video mocking the current Australian team who admitted to ball-tampering in the third Test against South Africa. The video also brings into light the infamous 1981 underam bowling incident when skipper Greg Chappell instructed brother Trevor to bowl an underarm delivery – deemed legal at the time – as New Zealand needed six runs to win on last ball.
The video by Ben and Liam makes fun of the Australian cricket team, captained by Steve Smith, who were found to be using means to gain an advantage by getting the ball to reverse swing. As per the plan devised by the “leadership group” during lunch on third day of third Test, Cameron Bancroft snuck sandpaper and used rough patches on the wicket to rub on to the ball to change the shape of the ball. However, Bancroft was picked up on camera in the act and later both Bancroft and Smith admitted to ball-tampering. In the aftermath, Smith stepped down as captain and David Warner as vice-captain with Tim Paine taking over as skipper for the remainder of the Test which South Africa won by a staggering 322 run margin. ICC later suspended Smith for one Test and fined him 100 percent of his match fees. Bancroft was fined 75 percent of his match fees and given three demerit points.
As Australians poured fun at their own for the act, former England skipper Kevin Pietersen by sharing the video and said, “Ouch. Aussies smashing their own! 😂“. Pietersen has also weighed in on the controversy, labelled ‘SandpaperGate’, by saying, “My 2cents worth – This will be Darren Lehmann’s greatest test as a coach, cos I will struggle to believe that this was all Bancroft’s idea. 2 men can restore that Baggy Green now – Justin Langer & Ricky Ponting. Men with immense Pride, Honour, Courage, Integrity & RESPECT! They should be flying to SA with James Sutherland RIGHT NOW!” in a series of tweets.
Cricket Australia are conducting their own investigation into the scandal that has rocked the sport while also hampering the board’s negotiations over a lucrative TV broadcast rights deal. Despite the focus shifting away from the field, the fourth and final Test begins on Friday at Wanderers with Australia trailing 1-2 in the series.