Cricket

Steve Smith ‘took the blame’ for ball-tampering scandal but entire Australia squad was involved, says Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff believes the entire Australian team was involved in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked world cricket in 2018 and then skipper Steve Smith just 'took the blame' to save his side.

Steve Smith ‘took the blame’ for ball-tampering scandal but entire Australia squad was involved, says Andrew Flintoff

London: Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff believes the entire Australian team was involved in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked world cricket in 2018 and then skipper Steve Smith just "took the blame" to save his side.

File picture of Steve Smith. Reuters

File image of Steve Smith. Reuters

Smith was suspended for a year along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft after being indicted in the sandpaper-gate during a Test match against South Africa in Cape Town.

"I can't believe that the whole team isn't in on it. As a bowler, if someone gives me a ball that's been tampered with, I know initially. One of the things that Steve Smith did is take the blame for everyone else," Flintoff told Talksport.

"Things like ball tampering have gone on for a long, long time and I think it's just the degrees where you take it. We were accused of putting sweets on the ball. People put suncream on it, tried everything they can."

Smith was also banned from taking any leadership roles for two years - a suspension which has now expired.

The England legend said it is difficult to believe that others in the team did not have a clue about what was going on.

"Sandpaper is wrong, but it's stupid more than anything. But I can't believe that everyone in the team wasn't involved in some way or another," said Flintoff, who took 400 wickets and scored over 7000 runs in his career.

Flintoff, who retired from the longer format after the 2009 Ashes, said he would give up everything to play one more Test for England.

"It's getting easier as I'm 42 and don't think I should be playing cricket now, but when I finished at 31, I couldn't go anywhere near it, I just wanted to be a cricketer. Still now I would swap everything I do to play one more Test match and wear that England badge at Old Trafford one more time.

"It's only when it's finished that you think I should have cherished it more. When it's gone it's so hard."

Updated Date: April 22, 2020 17:54:49 IST

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Former Australian PM Scott Morrison censured over secret ministry posts
World

Former Australian PM Scott Morrison censured over secret ministry posts

Over two years, Morrison had himself sworn in as minister for finance, home affairs, treasury, resources, agriculture and environment, without telling the public, parliament or existing ministers

‘Family is more important’: David Warner withdraws leadership ban appeal amid ‘public lynching’
First Cricket News

‘Family is more important’: David Warner withdraws leadership ban appeal amid ‘public lynching’

Australia opener David Warner on Wednesday announced that he has decided to give up on his attempts to get his lifetime leadership ban overturned.

Cricket Australia ‘lost control’ in handling David Warner’s captaincy ban appeal, says player body
First Cricket News

Cricket Australia ‘lost control’ in handling David Warner’s captaincy ban appeal, says player body

Warner this week withdrew his bid to overturn a lifetime captaincy sanction imposed after the infamous ball-tampering scandal of 2018, furious that an independent review panel wanted to make it public.