Australia has a rich tradition in the sport, the first recorded game of Cricket in Australia dates back to 1803. The situation has become a Public Relations nightmare; it will take years for Australian Cricket to recover and rise from the Ashes (no pun intended).
No matter what angle you look at this and try to be objective, the team cheated.
Warner, Smith, and Bancroft are the players who copped suspensions and loss of potential multi-million dollar contract to play in the IPL (Indian Premier League) a professional Cricket league in India that could have earned the players over $2 million dollars per season.
The immediate impact is that Cricket Australia lost a major sponsor, eight months into their three year sponsorship contract, the investment group Magellan terminated the deal worth $24 million dollars, the shoe and apparel company ASICS has decided to part ways as well as other personal corporate sponsors that can make a major impact in the bank accounts of the players involved.
The Australian team in the past few years have not been performing based on their previous results and past victories. The act was motivated by greed and desperation. The team needed to look good for the sponsors to gain more funding and they desperately needed a win to excite the fans.
The game of Cricket has been involved in a few shady and controversial issues over the years and you would think that Australia would be the last team on the planet to be caught in a fiasco like this.
What does not sit well with me was it sounded like that the whole team was in on it from the coach to the 12th man. I am surprised that the whole team including the coach is not sacked and put in front of the ICC (International Cricket Council) and get sentenced to a life ban for putting the game into disrepute.
WATCH: Suspended team captain Steve Smith apologises; Darren Lehman resigns as coach
(Source: ITV | Youtube)
Cricket Australia has given the players a slap on the wrist but at this moment, it is too early to speculate on the consequences and what the ICC will do and if they will flex their muscle and make an example of the Australian team or hand down a watered down punishment to save the game on the international level.
The future of Cricket on the grassroots level will suffer, the children who look up to these players will get discouraged and might lose interest in the sport; and yes, as a parent would you want your child to emulate cheats?
What upsets a lot of the general public is that the players involved think that they can easily apologise to the press and everything will be all business as usual. I have seen it in the body language and heard the news sound bites of the former captain Steve Smith that he is sorry because he got caught and now he is forced to apologise.
But the really sad thing is that they (senior leaders of the team) made the youngest inexperienced player to tamper with the ball and take the fall. They thought they would get away with it.
People may say that this piece has a bias against the entire Australian Cricket team for this incident. There is no bias. I am just surprised that the elite sportspeople are not using their head to think of the consequences, how their action affects not only their teammates but the whole sport, the way their represented country is looked upon in not just Cricket but in the Sporting World, in general, moving forward as well as their own credibility.
What is going to happen when they retire and their playing days are over? They will walk around with that proverbial scarlet letter (as a sports cheat) wherever they go. News travels fast and that reputation that the past Cricketing legends have built that took over 200 years such as Bradman, Border, Waugh, and Gilchrist was washed away with a single act of acting without thinking of the consequence.
There is a moral to this story; it does not matter if you are a huge Cricket fan or a person who falls asleep when the Cricket is on TV. The moral here is think before you act. If you have been told to do something that does not sit well with you morally then don’t do it.
Lastly when you are alone and you think that the camera is not on you and no one is watching it is best to behave and pretend that the whole world has their eyes on you.