The dust has settled and Cricket Australia has handed down its punishment for Steve Smith, Dave Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
Smith and Warner got a 12-month ban as well as losing their leadership roles, while Bancroft got nine months for his role in the ball tampering affair.
We already know Smith and Warner have lost some sponsorships and more will follow.
It will turn out to be very expensive lapse of judgement by all three players.
For what it’s worth, I think the punishments were a bit heavy handed.
I thought that for Warner and Smith a full test series suspension, with two more series suspended would have been sufficient.
A suspended test series for Bancroft would have also been enough.
The ICC has already handed down its swift and severe punishment. One test for Smith. That’s right, one test. Five days (or maybe less) of test cricket.
That is the most severe punishment the ICC could hand down for ball tampering, which is fairly rampant at all levels of cricket.
The current captain of South Africa has twice been found guilty of ball tampering and has served a total of zero games suspension.
Not even one session of play. And Faf is still captain of South Africa.
In 1994, Mike Atherton, then captain of England, was caught ball tampering, and Marcus Trescothick admitted that during the 2005 Ashes series, he tampered with the ball by experimenting with several types of lollies before using Murray Mints to provide the right combination to keep the ball shiny.
The grand total of all these examples was zero tests, and no captain lost his job.
Anyway, the mob has spoken and the lynch mob formed, but unfortunately for some they didn’t have their Australian citizenship revoked and expelled to live in some foreign hell hole.
So where to from here?
Both Smith and Warner can bounce back. The only bad mistake that a person can make is a mistake they don’t learn from.
Both need to accept that what they did was wrong and apologise for their actions.
I would like to see both players go back and play a summer of grade cricket. Warner needs to let his bat do the talking.
There is no reason why Warner and Smith can’t earn the trust of their team mates back and the respect of the fickle Australian public.
They may never lead the team again, but they can bounce back and resume their careers.
Bancroft, on the other hand, may pay a higher price despite copping a lesser suspension. He may never play test cricket again.
For the moment, Darren Lehmann, the coach who has lead Australia into it’s darkest day in test history keeps his job.
He denies knowledge of the plan to tamper with the ball.
Television images appear to show him sending a message out to Bancroft, who then feebly tries to hide the evidence.
Lehmann then left Smith and Bancroft to face the ensuing press conference and to my knowledge, he hasn’t issued a statement condemning their actions.
Something tells me the whole story has not been told. Something tells me this issue isn’t over yet and there could be another twist before it fades into cricket folklore. Watch this space.
Anyway while I wait for the next instalment of damage control from Cricket Australia, I guess i’ll have to make do with a big dose of NRL to make me feel better.
And remember, there’s no such thing as too much sport!
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