Town - The controversy that has accompanied the ongoing Test series between the
Proteas and Australia has reached new heights.
This time, though, the headlines
have nothing to do with the hosts.
READ: Trevor Chappell no longer cricket's most hated man
Instead, Australian coach Darren
Lehmann, captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman
Cameron Bancroft find themselves at the centre of the biggest ball tampering
scandal Test cricket has ever seen.
Exactly what will happen to Smith
and his colleagues following Cricket Australia's internal investigation is not
clear, but it certainly doesn't look good for anybody involved.
On the field, meanwhile, South
Africa have taken a 2-1 series lead into the fourth and final Test in
Johannesburg and they are on the verge of becoming the first Proteas side since
re-admission to beat the Aussies in a home Tests series.
After a brutal series on and off
the field so far, it is advantage South Africa.
The Proteas were still in Cape
Town on Tuesday morning but were leaving for Gauteng later in the day.
There was time, though, for coach
Ottis Gibson to address local media
and speak publicly for the first time following the shocking admissions from
Bancroft and Smith during the third Test.
"After the first Test all
the talk was about (Quintoin) De Kock and Warner, after the second all the talk
was Smith and (Kagiso) Rabada and now at the end of the third Test match we’re
just pleased that we’re not involved in the stuff that is going on. That’s something
for them to sort out," Gibson explained at the South African team
The coach acknowledged that he
never expected the public outcry to be as loud as it has been.
"I have been surprised at
how big it has become, but when you see such a deliberate act like you saw on
TV then people will become very interested in it," he said.
"The way that it was planned
… that makes it a bigger topic for people to talk about.
"Cricket Australia is a
100-year-old cricket organisation so to have something like this on their
doorstep … they’ve been the envy of the world in terms of winning World Cups
and producing great teams.
"Those great players of the
past will feel that their good name has been tarnished a bit. People have a
right to be upset about it."
Gibson denied that the pressure
to win in Test cricket was too great in the modern era, but he does feel that
Australia's will to win could have been what pushed them over the edge.
"The brand of cricket the
Aussies play is win at all costs," said the former West Indian allrounder.
"When you look at the Ashes,
they were never behind there, and they won pretty comfortably.
"Here, they’ve been behind a
couple of times and perhaps that desperation came into it for them.
"It’s a shame that something
like this had to happen for them to have to have a look at themselves."
fourth Test starts on Friday at the Wanderers.