India: Australian ball-tampering scandal causes concern



By APD writer Rishika Chauhan

NEW DELHI, March 28 (APD) - An episode of ball-tampering by the members of the Australian cricket team that came to light last week in South Africa, has caused concern as well as repercussions in India.

Steve Smith, the Australian skipper involved in the scandal, this week stepped down from the position of the captain of an Indian Premier League (IPL) team called—Rajasthan Royals.

Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane has replaced him for this season of the IPL.

Smith and teammate Cameron Bancroft had been accused of ball tampering on Day 3 of Australia versus South Africa test match played in Cape Town. Later the two admitted to the charge.

Steve Smith and David Warner also stepped down from the position of captain and vice-captain for the duration of the remaining match with South Africa.

Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland informed the media, "Following discussions with Steve Smith and David Warner they have agreed to stand down as captain and vice-captain respectively for the remainder of this Test match.”

In India, the incident caused concern, as Steve Smith is the captain of a renowned IPL team.

Zubin Bharucha, head of cricket, Rajasthan Royals, informed the media, “The incident in Cape Town has certainly disturbed the cricket world. We have been in constant touch with the Board of Control for Cricket in India and taken their counsel. Furthermore, we have been in regular contact with him.”

Through a press release, Manoj Badale, the co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals team said, “Rajasthan Royals will do everything possible to protect the values and the integrity of the game. We agree with Steve’s decision to step down as captain, and we are fortunate to have such a capable successor with Ajinkya Rahane.”

“It is important that all cricket fans retain a balanced perspective on the situation. What happened in South Africa was clearly wrong, especially given that it appears to have been pre-meditated. That said, this will be a difficult time for Steve as well, given how much he cares about the game,” the statement further explained.