Ian Gould, who was the third-umpire in the infamous Cape Town Test which saw Australia get caught red-handed for ball-tampering, has revealed that the Kangaroos’ behaviour was ‘out of hand’ 2-3 years before the incident unfolded. The incident resulted in both Smith and Warner getting one-year bans.
In March 2018, the world of cricket was rocked back by the ball-tampering scandal involving Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, one that saw the trio being handed the harshest of punishments by Cricket Australia. Post the scandal, the country decided to set things straight in terms of its behaviour, handing over Justin Langer and Tim Paine the responsibility of restoring the nation’s pride, something that the duo have since managed to do.
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, many experts cited the rotten culture inside the team as the primary reason for the Aussies resorting to cheating and veteran umpire Ian Gould, who was the third-umpire in the infamous Cape Town Test which saw the Aussies getting busted, has revealed that he felt that Australia’s behaviour was ‘out of hand’ long before the Newlands saga unfolded.
"I didn't realise what the repercussions would be. If you look back on it now, Australia were out of control probably two years, maybe three years, before that, but not in this sense. Maybe - behavioural, chatty, being pretty average people," Gould was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
The incident came to the light of the public when rookie Cameron Bancroft, on camera, was caught rubbing a foreign object on the ball to alter its condition. Gould, who retired from international umpiring post the 2019 World Cup, revealed how his only concern at that moment was to alert the guys on the field on what was happening, without making a fuss.
The 62-year-old further stated that the incident has since worked out positively for Australia, but admitted that he did not expect the country to inflict such harsh punishments on the players who were found guilty.
"But when it came into my earpiece I didn't think the prime minister of Australia was going to come tumbling down on these three guys. All I thought was - Jesus, how do I put this out to the guys on the field without making it an overreaction. It was a bit like on Mastermind when the light is on top of you and you're going - oh dear, how do I talk through this?”
"When the director said, 'He's put something down the front of his trousers,' I started giggling, because that didn't sound quite right. Obviously, what's come from it is for the betterment of Australian cricket - and cricket generally."