Former Australian great Ricky Ponting feels banned Aussie cricketers Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft’s recent statements regarding the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Cricket Australia will “raise a few eyebrows”. However, Ponting believes their statements are unlikely to cause any fresh upheaval in the Oz team.
Responding to their interviews, Ponting said he is quite stunned with Smith and Bancroft’s statements.
“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 by Cricket Australia’s official website, ‘cricket.com.au’ on Thursday.
Earlier in an interview with Fox Sports, Bancroft had revealed that former Australian vice-captain David Warner, who is also serving a one year ban in the wake of the Sandpaper Gate incident, encouraged him to tamper with the ball.
Meanwhile, Steve Smith said that Cricket Australia’s now ousted top officials encouraged a ‘win at all cost’ culture by throwing out statements like “we don’t pay you to play, we pay you to win”.
Ponting, however, feels that the fresh controversy on the matter will not 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,” Ponting said, before adding, “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 an absolute fever pitch so the less distractions the better,” Ponting said talking about the ongoing four-match Test series between India and Australia which is locked 1-1.