Waugh ‘deeply troubled’ by ball-tampering scandal

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Former captain Steve Waugh has revealed that he is “deeply troubled” by the ball-tampering scandal that has hit the Australia team in South Africa, saying some players have “failed our culture.”

Waugh, who captained one of the great Australia teams in the 90s and early 2000s, said the players involved in the ball-tampering fiasco has made a “serious error of judgement.”

Current skipper Steve Smith has been banned by the ICC for one Test but is expecting a far tougher sanction from Cricket Australia as is vice-captain David Warner while coach Darren Lehmann is reportedly on the verge of announcing his resignation.

ALSO READ: Australian government calls for Smith’s head

Waugh led the Aussies to 41 victories in 57 games as skipper and said he, together with the Cricket Australia board, drew up a Spirit of Cricket document in 2003 that will need to be revisited.

According to an article published on cricket.com.au, Waugh said in a facebook post: “Like many, I’m deeply troubled by the events in Cape Town this last week, and acknowledge the thousands of messages I have received, mostly from heartbroken cricket followers worldwide.

“The Australian Cricket team has always believed it could win in any situation against any opposition, by playing combative, skillful and fair cricket, driven by our pride in the fabled Baggy Green.

“I have no doubt the current Australian team continues to believe in this mantra, however some have now failed our culture, making a serious error of judgement in the Cape Town Test match.

“In 2003, we modified the Spirit of Cricket document originally created by the M.C.C., to empower our players to set their own standards and commit to play the Australian way.

“We must urgently revisit this document, re-bind our players to it and ensure the spirit in which we play is safe-guarded for the future of the sport, and to continue to inspire the dreams of every young kid picking up a bat and ball and for every fan who lives and breathes the game.

“A focused and balanced perspective is needed in the condemnation on those involved in this, with a clear and critical consideration to the social impact and mental health of all players.

“I will support all positive action to ensure an outcome for the betterment of the game, regaining the trust and faith of every fan of cricket.”

Australia are already 2-1 down in the four-match series against the Proteas with the Aussies expected to field a much changed team in the final Test, starting at the Wanderers on Friday.

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