The Ball Tampering Saga From A Non-Cricket Person POV

Image result for ball tampering cricket
Image from here
Like many people I am not a cricket fan, never have and never will be, even in high school phys ed I was not a fan. But also like many people I have an opinion about the current ball tampering saga. I wasn't going to write this, I didn't give it thought- you know, I don't know enough about the actual game to weigh in on the whole game play side, like the actual tampering of said ball. I know that it was wrong, also it was thoroughly stupid on Australia's behalf (I just need to question why they thought as such a  high profile team, that they could get away with something like this?) But even if I can't comment on the logistical side, I can comment on the treatment of those involved and their families, and that is what I am here to do. So this is a general discussion on my take of some aspects of this ball tampering saga.

If you live under a rock let me explain it all out for you (as far as I can comprehend) just for a bit of back story, Australian cricket team member Cameron Bancroft was caught ball tampering in the third test cricket match against South Africa. The scandal, and serious misjudgment was devised by vice- captain David Warner, and has seen three of Australia's players handed bans by Cricket Australia. Captain Steve Smith and David Warner have been handed twelve month bans and Cameron Bancroft a nine month band. 
David Warner devised the plan to alter the ball using sandpaper, Cameron Bancroft then carried out said plan and then following then game Bancroft and Steve Smith (who had prior knowledge of the cheating) made misleading comments to the media after the incident was caught on the big screen (not part of the plan, obviously.)

BUT while this was the worst thought out plan in the world and a serious misjudgment on everyone's involved part, is it really fair to attack the players and their families? Is it really okay to attack players for a cheating scandal that didn't physically hurt anyone, except may an ego or two, and the reputation of the Australian sporting community as a whole? Especially when Australian sportsmen who HAVE physically hurt people are currently being idolised, but we just pretend not to know?

We've seen some very broken men over the last few days, some men who have been cut down and abused by the whole nation, for something that was a mistake, which we all do make. And I mean they aren't just copping it from Australians, they're copping from the whole cricketing world, and that is a massive amount of people to have coming at you with scathing words and pitchforks. They've said their apologies, they know that what they did was so wrong, they know they've let the Australian sporting community down, they know they've let their fans down. And they are taking the consequences for their actions, the consequences handed down by Cricket Australia and the knowledge that they have severely let down a lot of people, and they've tarnished the reputation of the Australian cricket team. I don't know about all of you, but I think this is a pretty fair consequence for their actions and the constant abuse that they're getting right now is not needed.

I want to start off by talking about something that was actually reported in the British Press, I believe. On Thursday it was Captain (now former) Steve Smith's turn to give his press conference, and if you didn't see it every where on your social media, let me give you the run down. Before he even starts talking you can see a very broken man, he takes full responsibility for the ball tampering, he says he's "sorry and absolutely devastated." and you can see that he is telling the truth, the emotion we all saw in that press conference was real and you can't deny that.
So for the British Media to completely mock Steve Smith on almost all of their front pages was extremely insensitive and down right disgusting. We live in a world where its seen as "weak" for men to cry and have feelings, but we also live in a world that is trying to change that, we're trying to make it acceptable for men to cry and show that they feel, that they're human and it is a-okay to let some tears flow. And then we have publications like the Daily Mail who used the headline "Captain Cry Baby" and the Daily Star who reported "Bawl-tampering- Crying Shame of Aussie Cheats". Is anyone else as fucking annoyed as I am? Wouldn't you be crying if you were feeling the way that these men are? If you had let down so many people with one stupid mistake? If you were now carrying the disappointment of so many people on your back? If you had just all but ruined you dream career?

Moving on from that I now want to discuss the treatment of the families of the men involved. Lets talk about the WAGS and the children that have been caught up in this scandal not through their own actions and no doubt suffering because of it.

Candice Warner, lets talk about her. Not only is she the wife of David Warner (mastermind behind the ball tampering plan) shes a retired iron women, shes a model and probably most importantly here she's a mum. So not only is the attacking of David Warner affecting him, its affecting his wife and his two young children, has anyone thought about that? He has previously referred to Candice as his "rock" and often gushes about her beauty on Instagram. Last week after arriving back in Sydney from South Africa, David Warner made the decision to battle the reporters and angry fans by the side of his wife Candice and his two kids. Which I completely understand, I don't think he was using them as a shield, however bad it looked . I think he walked with them to show that as a family, they cannot be broken and these four people will stand together in the face of this scandal. I also think had he have left his wife and kids to walk through alone he was worried about the abuse they were going to cop for his action and if people were going to say anything he wanted to be there for it.

David Warner, wife Candice and their daughters leave the airport. AFP PHOTO / PETER PARKS
photo from: here

I saw this photo on and it just broke my heart that this family is clearly distraught (except for the littlest child, who is probably to young to understand what is going on and looks fascinated by all the commotion, bless.) and yet the media just will not back off at all. There is also the photos of Candice during David conference, completely emotional and being comforted by Roxy Jacenko (who has experience with this kind of situation.).

I've seen a lot about Candice on social media and in the press but not much about Caitlin Paris - the 21 year old girlfriend of Cameron Bancroft. I went through some of the comments on her Instagram page and my heart shattered for her. Shes been called a "f**king filthy human" simply because of her association with Bancroft. Shes had endless comments about him on her social media, and I just don't get it. Steve Smiths wife Dani Willis has also been hit with abuse on social media. Her Instagram bombarded with comments about her husband. They were not the ones who tampered with the ball, or thought up the plan, they didn't carry out the plan, they had no part in it. The only thing these wives, girlfriends and children are guilty of is loving a man who made some bad choices.

One of the last things I want to leave you with is a bit of perspective. These men cheated in their sport, it is bad we know, we get it. But I just want to remind everyone that no one was physically hurt, no one was put in hospital fighting for life, no one was injured. But just remember that there is sportsmen and women in Australia who have done terrible, terrible things outside of their sport, they've terrorirsied and injured other people and there was NEVER an uproar like this. I just also want to remind everyone that the things that you say and do have an impact on these people and their families. While the trio do deserve the consequence of being banned from their sport, they don't deserve to be abused to the point of suffering mentally. Remember that words do hurt in more ways than can be explained.