Melbourne: Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft's recent statements on the ball-tampering scandal have added to the constant reminder that the Australians "cheated", former cricketer Dean Jones said lambasting the two players' "attempts to garner sympathy".
While Bancroft has blamed the incident on David Warner, who is also banned, Smith said it was a result of the "win at all cost" culture promoted by Cricket Australia's (CA) top officials.
Jones, writing for 'The Age' newspaper, felt the two players should have kept quiet, served their bans, which are ending soon, and tried to earn back their places in the side. While Smith and Warner's one-year bans end in March, Bancroft's nine-month suspension concludes in the next few days.
"These interviews are almost as bad as the fine grade of sandpaper the players used to scratch the ball. Why am I so upset with these interviews? Everywhere Australian players go around the world, we are always reminded that we have cheated," Jones said.
"It feels like we have a huge tattoo on our foreheads that we cannot erase. These three boys were old enough to make the right decisions. Sadly, they have to pay for their consequences, as do we," he added.
Jones said the Australian cricket fans have had enough of the controversy that led to a review of the country's cricket culture and axing of top CA officials.
"What were they thinking? Who advised Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft to do those interviews with Fox Cricket? All this has done is add more fuel to a fire that the majority of the public don't really want to hear about anymore," he said.
Jones feared a retaliatory interview by a "furious" Warner, who has so far kept quiet about what happened in Cape Town, would only make it worse.
"...the Bancroft interview with Adam Gilchrist seems like the junior opener wanted to throw Warner under the bus...He definitely got the jump on Warner and it seemed like payback in full. How could these two guys open the batting together again?" he asked.
"Now I hear he (Warner) is considering doing a television interview in reaction to Bancroft's comments, which have painted him in a poor light. I feel that would be the worst thing Warner could do," he opined.
Jones said if the idea behind the interviews was to get sympathy, the plan has backfired for the duo.
"Well they have made another bad judgment. The public just wants you to do the right thing. If you are not good enough, then you are not good enough. They didn't have to resort to cheating," he said.
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