Proteas

Aussie crisis: ICC's 'weird' systems needs attention

2018-03-27 17:29
Cameron Bancroft comes clean (Gallo)

Cape Town - The ICC's handling of the Australian ball-tampering crisis to have rocked world cricket over the past few days has raised its own question marks.

READ: While Australia were cheating, AB de Villiers was breaking records

As Cricket Australia, its national coach and captain and a host of players look to recover from what is one of the darkest times in Australian cricket history, the ICC is also in the spotlight. 

Following a shocking admission from captain Steve Smith and ball-tampering culprit Cameron Bancroft after day three of the Newlands Test, the ICC acted on Sunday. 

Smith, one of the orchestrators of the illegal act, was hit with the maximum ICC punishment for such an offence - four demerit points and a one-Test ban. 

Bancroft, the man caught red-handed tampering with the ball using a piece of tape, was given just three demerit points and is technically still available for the fourth Test at the Wanderers starting on Friday. 

An internal Cricket Australia investigation is likely to see the 25-year-old opener sent home, while Smith could be in even more trouble. 

The real punishment, quite clearly, will come from Cricket Australia themselves and not the ICC. 

It has caused numerous past players to question the efficacy of the ICC in stopping serious acts like ball-tampering.

Proteas coach Ottis Gibson is the latest to join the chorus of those questioning the demerit points system. 

Kagiso Rabada, for example, was initially hit with three demerit points for his 'shoulder brush' with Smith during the second Test in Port Elizabeth. 

So, in the ICC's eyes, Rabada's contact with Smith warranted the same punishment as a man who had admitted to cheating during a Test. 

Rabada's successful appeal meant that his sanction was eventually lessened to one demerit point, but there still appears to be blurred lines in terms of what acts warrants what punishment. 

"If you look at what has just happened, Rabada just brushed shoulders with Steve Smith and he could have been banned for two games," Gibson said at an intimate meeting with local journalists on Tuesday.

"Then you look at this situation and the rules of the ICC says that it is four demerit points and one game (for Smith) … it seems a bit weird with something a bit trivial on Rabada’s side and something so serious on Smith’s side; the punishment doesn’t seem to match.

"The ICC are the custodians of the game and they are the ones that have to sit down and look at their own processes and look at this with a bit more seriousness."

The current ICC demerit points system has been in place since late 2016. 

South Africa, meanwhile, take a 2-1 lead into the final Test starting in Johannesburg on Friday.

READ: How SuperSport's cameramen caught cheating Bancroft red-handed

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