Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has opened up on the controversial ball-tampering incident that took place in South Africa. 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 Steven Smith and vice-captain David Warner were found to be involved and all three received unprecedented sanctions from Cricket Australia (CA).
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.
Smith was replaced by Tim Paine as Test captain and Aaron Finch as T20I and ODI captain.
Now, former Australian captain, Ponting has expressed his views on the incident.
Ricky Ponting Opens Up On the Cape Town Ball-Tampering Incident
“I was a bit worried that with a lot of the experience going out of our team at the same time, that there would be a bit of a void left with experienced players to be able to say ‘no’ basically,” Ponting was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo.
“If I look at where things got at Cape Town I just don’t think there were enough people around that team to say ‘no’ to some of those guys. Things got completely out of control. That’s very much an outsider’s view on it. I had nothing to do with the team really until the last couple of years around some Twenty20 cricket and the World Cup last year,” he added.
Warner was found to be responsible for the development of the plan to alter the condition of the ball and instructing Bancroft on how to do it, including demonstrating the technique to him.
Smith, on the other hand, was found to have known of the plan but failed to take steps to prevent it, told Bancroft to conceal the sandpaper in his trousers, misled match officials and others regarding Bancroft’s attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball, and made misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent and participants of the plan.