Johannesburg: The cricket fraternity is still finding it difficult to swallow what happened in Cape Town as Australia got involved in ball-tampering on March 24 during the third Test against South Africa. Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been suspended by Cricket Australia for their involvement and knowledge about the cheating plot.
While Smith, Warner and Bancroft have headed back home after the sack, Smith, who will be facing a lot of tough questions on his arrival in Australia, the fallen Australian skipper was severely booed as the security escorted him at the Johannesburg airport.
While the media personnel tried to get a reaction from Smith, he was heckled, booed and called a cheat, as one of the reporters was heard asking him, “What do you have to say the people who are calling you cheats right here?”
Former England skipper, Kevin Pietersen, who has been vocal about the issue as soon as it first broke out last week, shared a video of the incident, saying, "I don’t like this! @steve_smith49 isn’t a criminal!"
Pietersen's views were echoed by quite a few, from the cricket fraternity and outside.
YOH those bans are heavy.— Dale Steyn (@DaleSteyn62) March 28, 2018
It’s just, well, it’s, WOW.
That’s life changing stuff.
That shit at the airport looked totally unnecessary though
Steve Smith has made a mistake. But in trying to catch a plane in South Africa he's treated like a mass murderer. Surrounded by 12 security guards... people baying for his blood and calling him a cheat. This is too much for any 28 year old to handle. #CricketAustralia— Alan Jones (@AlanJones) March 28, 2018
One of Australia’s greatest ever cricketers who made a shocking error in judgement now being ushered through an airport like a convicted drug mule.— Theo Doropoulos (@TheoDrop) March 28, 2018
Regardless of your opinion of him, you can’t look at this image and say you don’t feel slightly bad for Steve Smith. I know I do. pic.twitter.com/FWyZK6XIjk
Darren Lehmann, coach of the Australian cricket team, on Wednesday issued an apology to the cricket fans and admitted that the trio has made a "grave mistake but they are not bad people".
"They have made a grave mistake but they are not bad people. As a coach, you feel for them as people. They are hurting. I feel for them and their families. There is a human side to this. They have made a mistake, as everyone – including myself – has made mistakes in the past," said Lehmann.
"These are young men and I hope people will give them a second chance. Their health and wellbeing is extremely important to us," added Lehmann....