The next nine months are going to be extremely tough for him, for Warner and for Bancroft – Taylor. © Getty
Mark Taylor, the former Australian captain, said that the “next few months are going to be extremely tough” for the banned trio of Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, as they would be mostly deprived of competitive cricket and forced to watch the national side playing Tests at home from the sidelines. Taylor, who is a part of the Cricket Australia board, also noted that the sanctions were “extremely harsh but extremely fair”.
Smith and Warner are playing in the ongoing Global T20 Canada, while Bancroft is partaking in the Northern Territory Strike League. After their respective suspensions, the three cricketers have talked about encountering a gamut of emotions. Before the commencement of the T20 League in Canada, Smith had said he was “up and down with my emotions” while watching England thrash Australia 5-0 in the recently-concluded ODI series.
“The next nine months are going to be extremely tough for him, for David Warner and for Cameron Bancroft, because they’re going to have to watch more of the Australian side right through the summer, here in Australia,” Taylor told Channel Nine. “That will really hurt. It hurt Steve Smith watching them play in England and lose, when they [the team] are playing in Australia it’s going to be really tough for them [the banned trio] when they’re not playing.
“But in the long run I think it’s good for all three of them. He made a bad mistake, as did the other two guys, three or four months ago, and he’s paying a very high price for it. I think the penalty they’ve received is very harsh but very fair, and I think we’ve now set a tone for world cricket that we’re not going to allow this sort of cheating to go on,” he said.
Taylor also noted that attempts were made to draw the line with regard to Australian players’ behaviour in the aftermath of the Durban Test against South Africa, earlier in the year.
“Sometimes you’ve almost got to hit rock bottom to get better,” Taylor said. “After the Ashes in Australia where they won 4-0, they won the T20 competition in New Zealand, I think everyone thought they were going wonderfully well. There were obviously things going on in the back of the brain which weren’t great for Steve, Dave and for Cam, particularly for Steve and David our captain and vice-captain. Unfortunately it led to them tampering with the ball and Steve not doing enough about the tampering with the ball.
“They were talked to about it – Pat Howard went from Australia to South Africa to talk to the team about that sort of behaviour, we need to tone things down. But it still doesn’t stop that one moment where two guys in the changeroom say we’re going to do something about changing the condition of the ball. It’s obviously become a huge story but it comes down to one moment.
“The other thing they could have done, Darren Lehmann, Pat Howard and the selectors could have said ‘we’ll just leave those three guys out of that next Test match, just drop them, leave them out because we think they’re mentally not right’. How would that have gone down? You’d be sitting here saying ‘what are they doing, that’s our captain, vice-captain and opening batsman’.”
Taylor also admitted the burden and pressure of captaining the Australian team and being the main batsman could have drained Smith. Smith had also pointed out that he perhaps needed a break after a gruelling five-match Ashes series. “I think we’ve had trouble with that in recent times, we saw that with Ricky Ponting towards the end of his playing days, when the captain is that good a player. I was lucky, I wasn’t that good, but they feel at times, Steve was definitely the case, Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting, all a bit the same, feel they have to make the bulk of the runs as well.
“They’ve obviously got to keep a spot in the side, but really you’re just one of 11 batsmen in the side. I think that position of Australian captain is so closely scrutinised, if you also think you have to be the best player and the best leader it’s a big load to carry,” he added.
Shared News | Last updated on Mon, 02 Jul, 2018, 12:18 PM