Zotani Oscar's camera work exposed Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft who conspired to 'get an advantage' in the third Test by applying tape on the ball.
A TV cameraman has been hailed a hero after he exposed the attempts of Australia cricket team to tamper with the ball. Zotani Oscar’s camera work exposed Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft who conspired to ‘get an advantage’ in the third Test by applying tape on the ball. Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag took to Twitter and praised Oscar for his contribution. “Gaur se Dekhiye is shaks ko. Oscar – the cameraman. Inke camera se bachna mushkil hi nahi namumkin hai #SandpaperGate,” he tweeted.
Steven Smith stepped down as Australia captain for the remainder of the ongoing third Test against South Africa and was penalised by the ICC on Sunday in the wake of the ball-tampering controversy. Smith’s deputy David Warner also stepped down as vice-captain. Wicketkeeper Tim Paine acted as captain at Newlands
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) March 24, 2018
The decision came on the back of the ongoing ball controversy. Television footage which was caught by Oscar later showed Bancroft rubbing the ball and then seemingly putting an object back in his pocket. As soon as the incident was shown on the giant screen, the player was questioned in the presence of his captain Steve Smith by the two on-field umpires Richard Illingworth and Nigel Llong.
The on-field officials along with third umpire Ian Gould and fourth umpire Allahudien Palekar later charged Bancroft. The umpires inspected the ball at that time and elected not to replace the ball and award a five-run penalty as they could not see any marks on the ball that suggested that its condition had been changed as a direct result of Bancroft’s actions.
Smith and Bancroft admitted to the offence after play of day three, and Bancroft was charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for altering the condition of the ball.
On Sunday, the ICC slapped Smith with a one-match suspension and fined his entire match fee. Additionally, Bancroft has been fined 75 percent of his match fee and handed three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC code of conduct.
Later on Sunday, Smith’s Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals said they will wait for instructions from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) before taking any action.
“We have been made aware of the controversy of ball tampering in the ongoing Australia-South Africa series and await further instructions from BCCI, before we make any announcement. We at Rajasthan Royals will not tolerate any actions that are unfair by definition and bring disrepute to the game of cricket. Our Zero tolerance policy applies to everyone in our team. Please bear with us,” the Royals said in a statement.