Former ICC Elite Panel umpire Ian Gould has said that the Australian cricketers had become ‘pretty average’ people two-three years before the infamous ball-tampering scandal. Gould was the TV official in the infamous Cape Town Test of 2018.
The 2018 Australian ball-tampering scandal, also known as the Sandpapergate, was a cricket scandal surrounding the Australian national cricket team. In March 2018, during the third Test match against South Africa at Newlands in Cape Town, Cameron Bancroft was caught by television cameras trying to rough up one side of the ball with sandpaper to make it swing in flight.
Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were found to be involved, and all three received unprecedented sanctions from Cricket Australia. Although he was found not to have been directly involved, Australia’s coach, Darren Lehmann, announced he would step down from his role following the scandal. Tim Paine replaced Smith as Test captain and Aaron Finch as T20I and ODI captain.
Ian Gould Opens Up On The Sandpaper Scandal By Australia
Gould, who retired after last year’s World Cup, relayed what had been spotted on the TV, Cameron Bancroft putting sandpaper down his trousers, to the on-field umpires.
“If you look back on it now, Australia were out of control probably two years, maybe three years, before that, but not in this sense. Maybe — behavioural, chatty, being pretty average people,” Gould told the ‘Daily Telegraph’ while promoting his autobiography ‘Gunner – My Life in Cricket’.
“I didn’t realise what the repercussions would be,” Gould said. “But when it came into my earpiece I didn’t think the prime minister of Australia was going to come tumbling down on these three guys. All I thought was — Jesus, how do I put this out to the guys on the field without making it an overreaction. It was a bit like on Mastermind when the light is on top of you and you’re going – oh dear, how do I talk through this?” he added.
What Came Out Of It Was Good For The Game: Ian Gould
“When the director said, ‘He’s put something down the front of his trousers,’ I started giggling, because that didn’t sound quite right. Obviously, what’s come from it is for the betterment of Australian cricket – and cricket generally,” he observed.
“If you saw the balls, you would get it completely wrong. At the end of the day, the sandpaper didn’t get on that ball. They were working to get the ball to be pristine. Once they’d got one side bigger and shinier, that’s when the sandpaper was coming in,” Gould added.