Cricket is often referred to as the ‘gentleman’s game’ and when the world came to know about the recent ball-tampering scandal involving Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, fans were shocked. As the Australian players confessed to have attempted ball tampering during the third day’s play in the Cape Town Test against South Africa, not just South Africans, it irked cricket lovers from around the globe. Demand for strongest action against the players flooded social media platforms with many eminent players joining the debate.
As visuals of Cameron Bancroft using a “Yellow object” while rubbing the rough side of the ball in the second session of Day 3 went viral along with those of him hiding it inside his trousers, it got Netizens talking.
Can we talk about this? pic.twitter.com/cmpRrOArgD
There is no way on earth the coach, captain (and most probably the rest of the team) weren’t aware of what Bancroft would be doing! #SandpaperGate
— Matt Prior (@MattPrior13) March 24, 2018
WHAT THE …….. HAVE I JUST WOKEN UP TO. Please tell me this is a bad dream.
And when finally the two players confessed to using illegal means to affect the condition of the ball, it led to a serious protest online. #SteveSmith, #Bacroft and #SandPaperGate started dominated Twitter trends globally with users slamming the duo. Many felt this is not the first time they did it but probably the first instance where they were caught.
Absolute shocker from the Australian cricket team. Captain #SteveSmith confesses to #balltampering.. #Bancroft admits that he tried to tamper with the condition of the ball, with the consent of the leadership group.. Real Shame! #SAvAUS #SAvsAUS #sandpapergate
— Kaushik LM (@LMKMovieManiac) March 24, 2018
If Cricket #Australia does not sack #SteveSmith & his ‘Leadership Group’ immediately they will do a great disservice to both the sport & their nation. I think a 2 yr ban on the captain is the best way to send a message that this is absolutely unacceptable. #SAvAUS #Sandpapergate pic.twitter.com/Qw0S2LAwgM
— Papa CJ (@PapaCJ) March 25, 2018
— Suhas Jagadeesh (@suhaskashyap2) March 24, 2018
— Billy Burton (@billyb2009) March 24, 2018
— Tim Harcourt (@TimHarcourt) March 24, 2018
#SteveSmith:“I can’t believe there’s not a single question about the good cricket being played?” I can’t believe your arrogance @stevesmith49, what good cricket when you try & cheat your way out of this test series? We know you won’t resign but you should be fired !!
— Diederick Stopforth (@DWStopforth) March 24, 2018
— FrinkerCast (@batballbail) March 25, 2018
Save #Australiancricket Sack #SteveSmith and #CameronBancroft Set the example for the world of sport, sportsmanship and teach our children. Match bans and fines are not enough. Terribly disappointing and their owning up to the disgraceful behaviour isn’t enough to keep their jobs
— subzero (@subzero_osg) March 25, 2018
As furore continued, Smith faced backlash and even Australian government stepped in. He resigned as the captain of the team for the remainder of the third Test match and later ICC banned him for one Test along with a 100 per cent fine of match fee. Bancroft too was fined 75 percent of his match fee and handed three demerit points. However, many on social media felt this wasn’t enough. Some even argued that the duo should be “banned for lifetime.” Sample these:
— srinidhi acharya (@srinidhiacharya) March 25, 2018
1 match ban for #SteveSmith? The @ICC have lost the plot… A more sensible punishment would have been to allow him to play, under condition that he field for two innings on the fine leg boundary at the Bullring next week #SAvAUS #BallTampering
— Brendan Shahim ツ (@Brendan_Shahim) March 25, 2018
#SteveSmith gets one test ban & #CameronBancroft gets 3 points. Way too soft a punishment for blatant cheating. What sort of example does this give to youngsters…you cheat and can get away with it? #ICC once again proving how utterly spineless they are #SAvAUS #sandpapergate
— Paul Smith (@PaulSmithLDN) March 25, 2018
Steve Smith has been fined 100% of his match fee and handed a one Test ban, Cameron Bancroft a 75% fine and three demerit points for ball-tampering incident. IS THIS A JOKE?#sandpapergate #SAvAUS #Balltampering #SteveSmith #Bancroft
— Stephen Harvey (@HarvSJ) March 25, 2018
— Rob Badman (@rivergumrob) March 25, 2018
If Mohammad Amir was banned for 5 years from international cricket upon charges of spot fixing (overstepping), what #SteveSmith and co. have done is blatant cheating and worse. All eyes are on @ICC. A match fee penalty or 2-match ban is clearly not enough.
— I believe (@I_bel1eve) March 25, 2018
It’s not enough that #SteveSmith stood down for the remainder of the South African 🇿🇦 series. He must #resign from the captaincy forever. Warner & anyone else involved in #SandpaperGate must go as well.
— Rick Plybon (@RickPlybon) March 25, 2018
Integrity takes a lifetime to build and a moment to lose.
— damienpapps (@TweetsOfDamo) March 25, 2018
What is all this talk about #SteveSmith resigning as captain only. He cheated and there is no room for cheats in the team. Just quit national cricket.
This isn’t parliament where cheats are protected by unfair laws, privilege and corruption, this is sport. #putOutYourSandPaper
— Shaun (@parsect) March 25, 2018
#SteveSmith only fine for one match suspension and Bancroft 75% of the match fees. ICC should stop being biase, shame on them. Its not the first time Aussies are way out of line neither ICC @bhogleharsha @imVkohli @GraemeSmith49 #SAvsAUS #SandpaperGate
— sandeep (@sandeep_babar) March 25, 2018
#SteveSmith should be sacked immediately from both International Cricket & IPL. A clear strong message needs to be sent that no matter how big a player you are, you are not above the spirit or law of the game. #Disgraceful #Shame
— Renjith Menon (@Tweetoloquist) March 25, 2018
How Can They Be Allowed To Play After Such A Horrific Ball Tampering Incident. Must Be Banned For Lifetime. If You Can’t Respect The Game You Have No Right To Play It. #SAvsAUS pic.twitter.com/vE5gW68cw8