Former International Cricket Council Match Referee Roshan Mahanama gives full credit to Cricket Australia for their prompt action with regard to the ball tampering incident which occurred during the third Test between Australia and South Africa last week.
Mahanama said, “It’s a great gesture and I give Cricket Australia full credit for showing they were serious about the standards the respective players have to maintain during international events of this magnitude.”
He says, “As for the match referees, they have to work out certain guidelines and work within that framework. As for Steven Smith, as he admitted his guilt, he was given maximum punishment, in keeping with the guidelines.
At the same time, the cricketer who really committed the offence, Cameron Bancroft was only fined 75% of his match fee. May be because the match referee took into consideration that he is a relatively new player and the situation he was in.
But, Cricket Australia looked at the incident from a different perspective, and acted, keeping in mind the broader interests of the game of cricket in Australia.
“This is the element that was missing during the game between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which ended up with a spate of incidents”, Mahanama said.
“There too, the match referee worked within the given guidelines. May be the match referee did not have sufficient evidence as to who was responsible for the incident. Breaking a glass door shouldn’t have gone unpunished. But, what was missing in that incident is that, the respective cricket authorities did not work towards the broader interests of the game, and conduct their own investigation and bring the culprits to book. That did not happen in that instance,” added Mahanama.
“During my time as a match referee, I would become rather annoyed when a player or official tried to justify an offenders’ action. In cases of that nature, I felt it was the duty of the match referee to conduct an impartial inquiry into an incident.”
In international sport, there is bound to be incidents of this nature, even in the future, and with the action that Cricket Australia has taken, they are giving even other cricket authorities the cue on how to act upon such incidents.