Markram: Australia ball-tampering shocked Proteas

Proteas opening batsman Aiden Markram admits that he and the team were shocked when they discovered that Australia tampered with the ball during the third Test at Newlands.

Cricket Australia (CA) have since banned Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft for the roles they played in the scandal with the Aussie board also setting up review into player behaviour.

Markram was speaking to reporters after being unveiled as a Durham player on Monday.

The 23-year-old batsman said: “We were very shocked. The heat of the series was obviously happening, it was the third Test match and it was a crunch game, and the next thing, the story broke out.

“We woke up the next morning and the guys couldn’t believe what happened. It hit home overnight.”

Markram, who scored 480 runs including two centuries in the four-match series against the Aussies, does not believe the spirit of cricket has been broken because of the scandal.

The right-handed batsman continued: “On the field, there are a lot of pressures to deal with and a lot of competitive juices that get flowing, and that’s when it’s the toughest part to try to keep it in the spirit of cricket.

“But definitely afterwards or after something, let’s say, happens that is not in the spirit of cricket, you get your apology very quickly and you get your reasons behind it.

“If the reasons make sense to you, then you accept your apology; if not, you try to look past it.

“But I still think there is that element in the game and I don’t think it is something we should lose at all.

“For as long as I play, wherever I play in the world, it’s something I’ll encourage and drive forward because at the end of the day, it is the gentleman’s game and it’s a big part of cricket itself.”