So for the past few months I’ve been working with a coach who has really helped me a lot with my game. Funny about the timing of these things but he was just talking to me last week about how cricket is a game of risk and reward. When making your decision about what shot to play or whether to play at all, consider whether the risk of getting out is greater than the reward you could get for playing that shot. Granted most games have a certain element of this but cricket is brutal. Once you’re out, you’re out. There are no second chances as a batsman so you have to play the odds if you hope to have a long and successful career. Considering this, it is beyond me why Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft ever even considered the concept of ball tampering. Was the risk of a ban or tainted reputation worth a series win in South Africa? Was the risk of casting a shadow over the whole nation and the game itself worth a win over the #2 ranked Test team?
Steve Smith and David Warner have brought into question every game that they have ever played. Every time Mitchell Starc has taken a wicket using reverse swing can be questioned. Did they really win the Ashes without cheating? Why would Smith put his own reputation at such risk when he was considered one of the four best batsmen in the world? What exactly was worth more than the risk of not just their reputations but the monetary value of captaining IPL franchises and BBL teams potentially being stripped away?
Were the rest of the team playing dumb? Did they not wonder why the ball was suddenly reversing? Did the bowlers not question the appearance of the ball? They surely must know the difference and be able to tell if a ball has been tampered with? And if the captain and vice-captain know then why doesn’t the coach? Had he instilled such fear and unyielding drive that losing was simply not an option? Or did they really have the arrogance to believe they wouldn’t be caught?
It’s a real shame when senior and respected players like Steve Smith allow the manipulation and use of young players to alter the game. What kind of example does this set for a team? For young players hoping to make it to the national side?
Normally I like to pose a question and come out with possible answers or solutions to the problem but for the life of me I cannot understand how they thought they could get away with this with umpires regularly checking the ball and the number of cameras around the ground and one question keeps sticking in my mind, how was the risk of all this greater than the reward?