Australia ball-tampering scandal: British religious broadcast likens Steve Smith's ban to resurrection of Jesus

BBC radio's highly-respected 'Thought for the Day' slot, aired Thursday on the eve of Easter, likened Steve Smith's fate to that of Christ.

AFP, Mar 30, 2018 09:28:49 IST

London: A British religious broadcast has compared the downfall of Australian cricket captain Steve Smith to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, backing fears that the reaction to the ball-tampering scandal has now rocketed into the realms of hysteria.

File picture of Steve Smith. Reuters

File image of Steve Smith. Reuters

BBC radio's highly-respected 'Thought for the Day' slot, aired Thursday on the eve of Easter, likened Smith's fate to that of Christ, describing both as "charismatic leaders" but overseeing "broken teams".

"Three months ago Steve Smith was named Australian of the Year," said the broadcaster, Reverend Sam Wells.

"The gospels portray Jesus as a teacher, a charismatic leader, who gathered around him a tight-knit team of disciples. At the height of his ministry you can imagine him being named Israelite of the Year."

Wells added, "The Australian cricket team have been under almost unbearable scrutiny. Some reports suggest the team is falling apart, torn between loyalty, friendship, honour and truth."

Smith made a tearful apology in Sydney on Thursday after he was banned for a year after his team was found ball-tampering in the third Test against South Africa last weekend.

Vice-captain David Warner, the ringleader of the plot which saw young batsman Cameron Bancroft rub sandpaper on the surface of the ball to aid his bowlers, was also booted out for 12 months.

"The vice-captain has been singled out by some as the chief culprit, and photographs suggest he's been ostracised by the other players. If a team is like a body, this is like watching that body disintegrate," added Wells.

"Two thousand years ago another body disintegrated...Judas betrayed Jesus to the authorities. (Perhaps today Judas would have sent out a press release, or a tweet.)"

The comparison of the Easter story to a scandal involving a handful of Australians and a red, leather cricket ball brought derision on social media.

"Jesus did bowl cracking inswingers," was one response on Twitter.

Updated Date: Mar 30, 2018 09:30:33 IST

Top Stories

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5007 116
2 South Africa 4280 110
3 New Zealand 3213 107
4 Australia 4566 104
5 England 5490 104
6 Sri Lanka 4256 89
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6918 126
2 India 8058 122
3 South Africa 5545 111
4 New Zealand 5645 111
5 Pakistan 4872 102
6 Australia 4290 100
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 5280 135
2 India 5590 124
3 South Africa 2960 118
4 England 2586 118
5 Australia 3266 117
6 New Zealand 3367 116