Amid a host of former and current cricketers refusing to believe Australia’s bowlers of not knowing about the ball-tampering before, one person has defended them. Former Australia skipper Mark Taylor has thrown his back behind Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon – who were part of the Newlands Test in 2018. Mark Taylor observed their statements and concluded that the bowling quartet had no knowledge about an attempt to change the condition of the ball.
After Cricket Australia decided to reopen the case based on Cameron Bancroft’s statement, indicating that the bowlers might have been aware, the bowlers denied the charge again strongly. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon, who were part of that game, said they answered all the questions relating to that incident and reacted again with all the facts. They stated, having been unaware of a foreign substance taken on the field until they saw the images on the big screen.
Mark Taylor remarked that it had been obvious that the Australian bowlers did not know and one had to only read the statement to understand that. The New South Wales referred to the comment that said the bowlers did not know a foreign substance had been taken to the field to tamper with the ball. Taylor also claimed that the umpires did not change the ball as they saw no problems with it and decided to proceed with the game.
“The bleeding obvious to me is they didn’t know that it had been doctored. You only have to read what they said during the week. If I could just read it out: ‘We did not know a foreign substance was taken on to the field to alter the condition of the ball’. And as they said, the two umpires in the game did not change the ball. So there was an attempt to change the condition of the ball but they didn’t get to do it. The umpire said, ‘That ball’s still fine, let’s get on with it’. So they did not know,” Taylor told Sports Sunday.
We had a four-day window, and in that time, we got it right: Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor further said that sending three players home and then dealing with them was not ideal and that a little more time would have required. Simultaneously, the 56-year old believes that Cricket Australia did everything right during the four-day window they had between the Cape Town and Johannesburg Test.
“We had a four-day window between the Cape Town Test and the start of the fourth Test, which was at Johannesburg. To send someone over, do an investigation, make a report and make some decisions around that. That was to send the three players home and then to deal with them. It wasn’t an ideal situation. It would have been great to have six months to do all this. We had a four-day window, and in that time, we got it right,” the cricketer-turned commentator added.