A day after disgraced captain Steven Smith and key accused caught on camera when tampering with the ball Cameron Bancroft have respectively blamed the Cricket Australia culture and David Warner for the scandal, former skipper Ricky Ponting has said that the latest comments will raise eyebrows.
Bancroft had accused Warner for persuading him to unlawfully changing the shape and surface of the ball to take undue advantage, Smith had blamed the former Cricket Australia executives James Sutherland and Pat Howard for establishing a toxic culture of winning at any cost.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes Smith and Bancroft’s recent statements detailing the build-up to the ball-tampering scandal will “raise a few eyebrows” but are unlikely to cause any fresh upheaval in the team, adds PTI.
Speaking to Cricket Australia’s official website, cricket.com.au today (Thursday), Ponting said he is quite stunned by the statements.
In interviews given to ‘Fox Sports’, Bancroft has said that he was encouraged by Warner, who is also serving a ban, to tamper the ball, while Smith has claimed that Cricket Australia’s now ousted top officials encouraged a ‘win at all cost’ culture by statements like “we don’t pay you to play, we pay you to win”.
“Now that those stories are out there, it’s going to be interesting to see what the reaction is tomorrow in newspapers and news channels. There’s enough in those stories to raise a few eyebrows,” Ponting was quoted as saying.
At the same time, Ponting said he does not believe the fresh controversy on the matter will have an impact on the national team.
“I think the guys that are not banned have had long enough to move on from that sort of stuff,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that Painey (current captain Tim Paine) and some of the other guys, they have to leave that behind and move on and worry about what’s happening in the middle of the MCG.
“Because right now, the series is at absolute fever pitch so the less distractions the better,” he added referring to the ongoing four-Test series against India which is locked 1-1.
Meanwhile, former Australian batsman Michale Slater has slammed Bancroft for the “strategic” interview. He claimed that Bancroft had “worried” Warner with that interview .
Slater, who played 74 Tests for the Aussies across nearly a decade, said he was disappointed Bancroft chose to speak honestly nine months after the incident.
“I think it (Bancroft and Warner’s relationship) untenable,” Fox Sports has quoted Slater’s comment to Channel 7.
“There is a strategy behind Steve Smith and Bancroft and Dave Warner’s off the radar at the moment. They’re all running some strategy to try and regain respect from the public and from their players. But in those comments he’s buried Dave Warner.
“They had the chance way back when it happened to tell the truth about the situation. There’s no use now coming back and saying something different that was said then. They all collectively said as that little group that ‘we’re all involved’ and now they’re saying something very different.
“I don’t want to hear it. I know there’s an element of the public that now like to get to the bottom of it, but in terms of a respectful comment on Dave Warner, there’s been none of that.”
Slater further added that it would be tough for Warner to integrate himself back into the national set up when his ban ends in March next year.