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Steve Smith: Should he be banned or given a second chance?

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
262   //    28 Mar 2018, 09:35 IST

Steve Smith was brave enough to accept his mistake in public.
Steve Smith was brave enough to accept his mistake in public

An incident-prone tournament

The last few weeks have been really dark for the cricketing world. With controversies all around the park, the ball-tampering controversy of Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft has sparked the cricketing nation with everyone criticizing the unfair act performed by the Australian skipper.

There was so much anticipation about the series when Australia announced their tour of South Africa for four Test matches. But much to everyone’s surprise, the series got heated up on the very third day and ended up with David Warner getting fined for provoking Quinton de Kock on the last day of the first match.

Things did not end here, Rabada got suspended for shouldering the Australian captain and then this incident took place; all these incidents have shaken the cricket fraternity from head to toe.

Sandpaper Gate

With the cameraman doing his job by catching Cameron Bancroft red-handed during the game and then facing the cameras, Smith said, "the team's leadership group had a plan, carried out by Cameron Bancroft, to tamper with the ball to get an advantage."

He, later on, added that the coaching staff had no involvement in the matter and was unaware of this act. Right after accepting all this, much to Steve Smith’s knowledge the world changed around him.

The Aussie skipper and his so-called “leadership group” is still being criticized for the shameful act. For Australia, who had just recovered from the special “Brain fade” incident of Australian skipper, this incident will surely come to haunt them for ages now.

Deserved repercussions?

With International Cricket Council (ICC) looking into the matter, Steve Smith was fined 100% of his match fee and was banned from the penultimate match of the series. He was asked to step down as the skipper by Cricket Australia (CA) and is finding himself under the sword of life ban under the code of conduct set by the Australian board.

With all this going around and Steve Smith getting the punishment that he deserves, is a year ban the right thing for the player? The player, who has been compared to Sir Don Bradman weeks ago now finds himself in this situation.

With Steve Smith owning his mistake, doesn't he deserve a second chance? After seeing the fact that his counterpart Faf du Plessis was too found guilty of the same act and that too twice where he was charged 50% of his match fee and then 100% with some demerit points. Faf was announced the captain of the test side very next month!

Not only him but there were many more incidents regarding “ball-tampering” where players were found and were penalized but were not given such kind of punishment.

Is ball tampering as same as match fixing? No, despite the fact that Steve Smith committed this offence, he had the courage to come up and own his mistake for the same.The player is the best in business and the most prolific one of his time, a time when the game, now, changes in the flash of a moment. One is bound to wonder whether is it too early to exact a pound of flesh?

“Forgiveness does not mean accepting someone’s apology, it means understanding fully that a person made a mistake; but is worthy of a second chance.”

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