Sydney - Australia's Prime Minister has called for an end to sledging in cricket, saying
it was "right out of control" as he urged the sport to clean up its
image amid a ball-tampering scandal.
Malcolm Turnbull described the cheating crisis in which captain Steve
Smith admitted to masterminding a plot to change the ball's condition
during the third Test against South Africa on Saturday as a "shocking
affront to Australia".
READ: How SuperSport's cameramen caught Bancroft red-handed
He demanded Cricket Australia act decisively in investigating the
incident. The governing body is expected to provide an update on
Turnbull added that authorities needed to crack down on sledging -
verbal abuse involving players on both sides - if it wanted cricket to
"once again (be) held up as a role model".
"I think there has to be the strongest action taken against this
practice of sledging," he told reporters in Canberra.
"It has got right
out of control ... it should have no place (in cricket).
"The game of cricket ... should be one that once again is held up as a role model."
READ: 27 of the best Australian ball-tampering memes and jokes!
The Test series between South Africa and Australia was ill-tempered even before Saturday's explosive admissions.
The first Test in Durban earlier this month was plagued by an ugly
row between vice-captain David Warner and South Africa's Quinton de
CCTV footage showed Warner being restrained by team-mates as he
appeared to lose his temper during a confrontation on a staircase as the
players walked to their dressing rooms.
The incident was reportedly over a jibe about Warner's wife Candice,
with the Australian describing the remark as "vile and disgusting".
Both players were punished for the bust-up with Warner fined 75 percent of his match fee and De Kock 25 percent.
READ: Top XI must-read Oz ball-tampering articles
The recent Ashes series was likewise marred by tensions between Smith
and England bowler James Anderson, with umpire Aleem Dar having to
separate the pair when the Australian was batting.
Anderson described the Aussies as bullies who overstepped the line
ahead of the Adelaide Test, with Smith retorting that the Englishman was
one of the biggest sledgers in the game.