Smith took the blame in ball-tampering saga – Flintoff

Smith took the blame in ball-tampering saga – Flintoff

Former England captain Andrew Flintoff doesn’t believe Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft acted alone during the ball-tampering scandal which came to light in the 2018 Test series in South Africa.

The trio was handed lengthy bans after television footage showed them tampering with the ball during the third Test at Newlands.

All-rounder Flintoff, though, believes most of, if not the entire Australian team was in on it, although he admitted there is a grey area when it comes to what constitutes as illegal ball-tampering.

“I can’t believe that the whole team isn’t in on it,” Flintoff said on talkSPORT.

“As a bowler, if someone gives me a ball that’s been tampered with, I know initially. One of the things that Steve did is take the blame for everyone else.

“Things like ball-tampering have gone on for a long, long time and I think it’s just the degrees where you take it. We were accused of putting sweets on the ball. People put sun cream on it, tried everything they can.

“Sandpaper is wrong, but it’s stupid more than anything. But I can’t believe that everyone in the team wasn’s involved in some way or another.”

Smith, Warner and Bancroft have all returned to international cricket since then, with Smith, in particular, picking up where he left off, playing a starring role in their 2-2 draw in the Ashes against England last year.

Published at Wed, 22 Apr 2020 10:43:26 +0000