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Ball-tampering row a reality check, says Arthur
April 26, 2018
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Canterbury: Former Australia coach Mickey Arthur hopes the Australia ball-tampering scandal will prove a “reality check for world Cricket” and that the banned trio of Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft get a chance to play county Cricket in England.

Smith and Warner, the deposed captain and vice-captain, have been given one-year bans by Cricket Australia, while Bancroft has been hit with a nine-month suspension for his part in the ball-tampering scandal that marred the team’s recent tour of South Africa.

Top-order batsman Bancroft was all set to be Somerset’s overseas player this season but the county backed out of that deal after it emerged he had used sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball in Cape Town.

The CA ban applies only to Australia international matches and domestic fixtures, leaving open the possibility that the shamed trio could resume their careers elsewhere before their respective suspensions expires.

Now the coach of Pakistan, who begin their tour of England against Kent later this week, Arthur told reporters at the south-east county’s Canterbury headquarters on Wednesday that he had been stunned by the extraordinary scandal.

“It was a shock to me. I was disappointed, really disappointed, when I saw it go down,” he said.

Arthur, who coached Australia from 2011-2013, added: “Australia always play their Cricket really hard, they play it tough. They’ve pushed ‘the line’ -- I just want to know where ‘the line’ is because I’m not sure many people do know where that line is and what it is.

“But I think it got to a point where perhaps, hopefully this is a reality check for world Cricket and just makes everybody sit back and take stock.

“Hopefully, something good comes out if it.” Arthur was sympathetic to the idea of the banned trio playing county Cricket.

“In a way, I feel really sorry for them. I can understand they were really stupid, they’ve paid a massive price for it and I know Steve Smith, he would be absolutely gutted.

“Cameron Bancroft is a new guy on the block so for him it would be really hard to swallow and Davey (Warner).”

Agence France-Presse

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