Why Shane Warne thinks Cricket Australia have opened themselves up to ridicule

Steve Smith-David Warner 2017 PA

Australia legend Shane Warne has slammed the decision to appoint Steve Smith as the country’s Test vice-captain.

Smith was removed from the captaincy in the wake of the laughable sandpaper ball-tampering incident in their ill-tempered series against South Africa.

That incident has seen Smith labelled, perhaps unfairly as cheat, and while Warne feels that the former skipper was harshly dealt with for his part in the scandal, he does not support his restoration to a leadership role.

It comes just as the man who replaced Smith as captain has been taken down by another scandal which might have given Cricket Australia some pause before appointing a man who led Australian cricket into a cultural review.

Wrong to restore Smith to Australia leadership

Fast bowler Pat Cummins was appointed skipper becoming the first quick to lead Australia in the Ashes in over 50 years but the desire to bring Smith back into the leadership fold sends the wrong message according to Warne.

“We all love Steve Smith and are proud that he’s the best Test batsmen in the world again, but he should not be the Australian vice-captain.” Warne wrote in his column for the Herald Sun on Saturday.

“Everyone makes mistakes, we know that, and we’ve all moved on from sandpaper-gate. But that happened under Steve Smith’s captaincy; he allowed that to happen on his watch. I think the punishment he was given was way too severe, which I said at the time. He paid a huge price for his mistake.”

“But his second chance is getting to play for Australia again and in my opinion announcing him as vice-captain opens up CA (Cricket Australia) for ridicule and criticism, and they should throw the code of conduct out the window,” added Warne.

Australian cricket has been plunged into another leadership crisis, and this time it appears to have shunted the character of everyone involved in the game down under into the limelight.

Any suggestion of Australia maintaining some sort of high ground over an England team heading into the series with their own game reeling from a racism scandal has long been put to bed.

The Ashes promises to be an intense cauldron that will Test player’s in every aspect, and we are highly likely to encounter further controversy.