Australia star Steve Smith has finally broken his silence on the claims of cheating following the third Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Fans and several former cricketers including the likes of Virender Sehwag, Michael Vaughan and others lashed out at the batting star, accusing him of scuffing Rishabh Pant’s guard marks.
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The stump camera caught Steve Smith walking on the pitch and shadow batting but it was what he did next that had some people confused. He appeared to scuff up markings on the crease used as a guide for where stumps are behind batsmen. The incident had taken place during a drinks break in the second session on day five of the Test.
In the wake of the incident, he has faced severe criticism from the cricket fraternity. Steve Smith, however, has denied that he did anything that was unsportsmanlike and insisted that he has been left “quite shocked and disappointed” by the fallout. He insisted that it is a regular, harmless habit of his – a similar point made by skipper Tim Paine.
“I have been quite shocked and disappointed by the reaction to this,” Steve Smith told the Daily Telegraph.
“It’s something I do in games to visualise where we are bowling, how the batter is playing our bowlers and then out of habit I always mark centre,” he added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Paine also stated that it was a regular thing for Smith and that his teammate was “really disappointed” with how his actions had been interpreted.
“I have spoken to Steve about it,” Paine told reporters. “He is really disappointed with the way it has come across. If you watch Steve Smith play Test cricket that is something he does every single game five or six times a day. He does this a lot.
“He is always in the batting crease batting. As we know he has those many Steve Smith quirks. One of them is that he was always marking centre. He was certainly not changing (Pant’s) guard,” added Tim Paine.
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