Cheating saga comes to emotional end

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Steve Smith was in tears as he addressed the media at Sydney Airport.(AP)

The fall out of Australia’s darkest scandal

The intense week long scandal that has rocked international cricket has seemingly come to an emotional end.

The world was glued to their screens as former captain Steve Smith broke down in a press conference, profusely appologising. “To all of my teammates, to fans of cricket all over the world and to all Australians who are disappointed and angry. I’m sorry.” Smith said.

Cameron Bancroft also gave a hard press conference at the WACA. ““I feel like I’ve let everyone down in Australia and I’m not proud of that, it will take time for that to heal and earn the respect back.” Bancroft said. 

Bancroft was bitterly disappointed after his hard work to make it to the Australian team. “Through the last few days, sitting in my own company, the thing that breaks my heart the most is that I have given up my spot in the team for somebody else for free.”

Steven Smith and David Warner have received twelve month bans by Cricket Australia, whilst Cameron Bancroft has only received a nine month ban. This was after the ICC handed down a one-match ban and 100% match fee loss to Smith, and Bancroft a 75% match fee loss and 3 demerit point deduction.

The saga finally took its toll on Coach Darren Lehman, announcing his resignation. He said at a press conference in South Africa that this will be his last test in charge.

Missing out big time

The saga has resulted in Cricket Australia losing millions. Magellan, the global funds management company, has withdrawn its multi-million dollar sponsorship from CA, some reporting the deal to be worth $17 million over three years. Magellan signed a new deal prior to last summer’s Ashes series.

This adds on to the personal losses for Smith, Warner, and Bancroft. Smith and Warner are set to lose out on their massive paydays for the upcoming Indian Premier League, as well as apparel company Asics have withdrawn their sponsorship of Warner and Bancroft.

For Smith alone, he has lost his ambassadorial roles with the Commonwealth Bank and Sanitarium, as well as being stood down from his Indian Premier League franchise, Rajasthan Royals, worth $2.5 million. The players may be considering appealing their sanctions based on the severity.

The twelve month bans to Warner and Smith will see them miss several series. Along with the Indian Premier League, they will miss a limited overs tour of England in June, a home limited overs series against South Africa, a test series against India (in November) and Sri Lanka (in January 2019), and then an limited overs series against India and New Zealand.

The ban will conclude prior to next year’s Cricket World Cup in England & Wales in May and June next year.

Time to get back to the cricket

With the scandal seemingly over, the focus now shifts to how cricket will move on from this, and how Cricket Australia can repair its reputation.

Current Western Australian coach Justin Langer is the widely-speculated successor of Lehman. Whoever the next Australian coach is, they will have the pivotal task of changing the culture of the team. 

Meanwhile, all eyes of cricket fans around the world will be on Cape Town to see how this cricket team will front up. It could be carnage, or there could be some signs of grit and determination.

The Australian team, led by their 46th captain Tim Paine, will front up for the fourth and final test of the series in Cape Town. Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw and Glen Maxwell have been flown is as replacements.

 

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