Cameron Bancroft has found himself in hot water after intentionally illegally changing the condition of the match ball in the third test between Australia and South Africa in Cape Town.
Cameron Bancroft has found himself in hot water after intentionally illegally changing the condition of the match ball in the third test between Australia and South Africa in Cape Town. Halden Krog/AAP Photos

JOCK SCRAP: The day our reputation went down under

ON A day when cricket was celebrated in the highest esteem in the Clarence Valley, more than 11,000 kilometres away the sport's reputation was being rubbed in the "granules beside the pitch".

I woke up on Sunday morning to some of the worst sporting news I have heard in a long time.

Australian cricket had become the laughing stock of the world. The need to win had finally usurped respect and integrity of the sport.

While I am far removed from the Australian cricket team, and if anyone has read my MyCricket stats they know I won't be there any time soon, I still feel ashamed about what happened.

 

Australian captain Steve Smith has come under fire after admitting to openly conspiring to cheat in the third test against South Africa.
Australian captain Steve Smith has come under fire after admitting to openly conspiring to cheat in the third test against South Africa. STEFAN POSTLES

The very notion of cheating to win, or even cheating to gain an advantage, tears at the fabric of the Australian national identity.

My grandfather spent 30 years as a carpenter. He built his own house from scratch. And when his back gave in after all those years, he began mowing lawns for a living.

That was because he believed in the hard yakka way. You get in, do the right thing, persevere through the hardship and get rewarded at the other end.

It is the way I was raised, and the way many millions of other Australians were raised.

Our country is built on a foundation of hard work and honesty and our sport is played the same way.

We play hard, but more importantly we play fair.

In one moment of brash, disgusting behaviour, Steve Smith and his men have brought that ideal crashing to the ground. They have stomped on the reputation of our nation. And they have trashed the legacy of all who have gone before them.

Not since the underarm incident have we felt this ashamed as a nation - luckily I wasn't alive for that.

In the years since our cricket side has been built on the notion of fairness. Just ask Adam Gilchrist - the bastion of cricket integrity.

The moment he walked, despite being given not out, in the 2003 World Cup semi-final is one I will not forget.

Since that moment, Australians have been the first to damn any nation who has even considered cheating.

How can we do that now?

This incident has left me hurt and embarrassed, and ultimately confused.

The only thing I am sure about - Steve Smith and his "leadership team" need to go. And not come back.

AROUND THE GROUNDS: What do our Clarence cricketers think about the tamperers?

BRUCE BAXTER, Umpire: I feel absolutely disgusted. It was an exercise in gross stupidity. To think they thought they could get away with it. I am disappointed as a supporter of Australian cricket. I think heads will roll, and deservedly so. They know it is against the law.

 

BRUCE BAXTER, Umpire: I feel absolutely disgusted. It was an exercise in gross stupidity. To think they thought they could get away with it. I am disapp- ointed as a supporter of Aust- ralian cricket. I think heads will roll, and deservedly so.  They know it is against the law.
BRUCE BAXTER, Umpire: I feel absolutely disgusted. It was an exercise in gross stupidity. To think they thought they could get away with it. I am disapp- ointed as a supporter of Aust- ralian cricket. I think heads will roll, and deservedly so. They know it is against the law. Matthew Elkerton

AMY RIDDELL, Clarence Cricketer: I think it is pretty ridiculous. I don't know why they would even think about it. Winning isn't everything. How do people with kids react? Kids grow up and want to be Steve Smith, how do you now tell them he is a cheater? I would never consider cheating.

 

Amy Riddell:  I think it is pretty ridiculous. I don't know why they would even think about it. Winning isn't everything. How do people with kids react? Kids grow up and want to be Steve Smith, how do you now tell them he is a cheater? I would never consider cheating.
Amy Riddell: I think it is pretty ridiculous. I don't know why they would even think about it. Winning isn't everything. How do people with kids react? Kids grow up and want to be Steve Smith, how do you now tell them he is a cheater? I would never consider cheating. Adam Hourigan

TONY BLANCH, Curator: I am absolutely gutted. It is just part of the integrity of the game. We never got over the bloody underarm delivery, and now we have got this. No cheating should be allowed in any sport. They deserve whatever punishment they get. It is a sad day for cricket.

 

Tony Blanch is waiting for the end of rugby league season to begin curating the McKittrick Park pitch for the start of the 2014/15 CRCA Cricket season.

Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner
Tony Blanch is waiting for the end of rugby league season to begin curating the McKittrick Park pitch for the start of the 2014/15 CRCA Cricket season. Photo Bill North / Daily Examiner Bill North

ZAC PAGE, Reverend of Reverse Swing: I'm speechless. I can't believe they were so dumb. I can't imagine it having any effect on the ball. Obviously a plan hatched by three batsmen, I don't think the bowlers wouldve had anything to do with it.

 

ZAC PAGE, REVERSE SWING SPECIALIST: I'm speechless. I can't believe they were so dumb. I can't imagine it having any effect on the ball. Obviosuly a plan hatched by three batsmen, I don't think the bowlers wouldve had anything to do with it.
ZAC PAGE, REVERSE SWING SPECIALIST: I'm speechless. I can't believe they were so dumb. I can't imagine it having any effect on the ball. Obviosuly a plan hatched by three batsmen, I don't think the bowlers wouldve had anything to do with it. Matthew Elkerton

BILL NORTH, CRCA First XI Selector: Such a shameful act against the spirit of cricket. It speaks volumes about the dressing room culture and sends a terrible message to the next generation during a time when cricket needs to cling onto its core values of integrity and sportsmanship.

 

BILL NORTH, EDITOR: Such a shameful act against the spirit of cricket. It speaks volumes about the dressing room culture and sends a terrible message to the next generation during a time when cricket needs to cling onto its core values of integrity and sportsmanship.
BILL NORTH, EDITOR: Such a shameful act against the spirit of cricket. It speaks volumes about the dressing room culture and sends a terrible message to the next generation during a time when cricket needs to cling onto its core values of integrity and sportsmanship. Matthew Elkerton


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