CSA responds to Australia's darkest day

2018-03-25 11:18
Mohammed Moosajee (Gallo)

Cape Town - Proteas management has opened up on the ball tampering saga that has rocked the third Test against Australia at Newlands.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) had been quiet on the matter on Saturday, but before play on day four on Sunday Proteas team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee addressed South African media at the Newlands nets. 

The Test match has been thrown into disarry after Cameron Bancroft was caught working on the ball with a foreign object 20 minutes before tea on Saturday. 

After the day's play, Bancroft came clean and owned up to the offence in a sensational reveal. 

Even more shockingly, Australian captain Steve Smith then admitted to being heavily involved in the plan himself, along with the Australian leadership group. 

It is surely one of the darkest days in Australian cricket history, and Smith has since stood down as captain for the remainder of the Newlands Test along with vice-captain David Warner. 

The Australians, understandably, looked flat when play started on Sunday morning as wicketkeeper Tim Paine took over the captaincy.

"It's been an intriguing series on the field, but somewhat theatrical off the field," Moosajee said.

"The process is very much in the match referee and the ICC's hands. I think the fact that Australia have admitted to what they've done comes across as very unfortunate and there is no place for that in cricket at all."

Moosajee was not overly surprised by the the confession given by Bancroft on Saturday.

"When the evidence is at damning as it was, sometimes it's better to come clean. That's probably what they were thinking," he said.

"Reverse swing is about trying to change the condition of the ball but in a legal way. Many teams try and do that."

Moosajee did express surprise, though, at the fact that the ball was not changed after the umpires had viewed the incident on the big screen.

"That was a bit surprising in the sense that they didn't change the ball because the condition of the ball at the time hadn't been affected," he said.

"From my understanding of the rules is that if there was evidence, like there was, then they should have changed the ball and a five-run penalty should have been awarded.

"There are just so many cameras nowadays, so if people are trying to do something untoward, it's just a matter of time before they are exposed."

On the field, meanwhile, South Africa are in a strong position in the match and are favourites to take a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth Test at the Wanderers.

"We've had Ottis Gibson address the boys this morning and the focus is about applying relentless pressure and to be focused on the job at hand," Moosajee said.

"From a mental space, they're certainly in a good one."


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