Smith's airport treatment condemned

Cricket identities react to the player bans while jostling scenes at Johannesburg airport cause alarm

The significant sanctions handed down to the players involved in the ball tampering scandal have caused shockwaves around the cricket world.

Reactions from past and present players and those involved in the game have been mixed, but the condemnation of the premeditated plan to tamper with the ball by using sandpaper has been universal.

And Cricket Australia has had its first commercial casualty of the scandal with Magellan, the naming rights partner of home Test series, terminating its sponsorship agreement.

Another aspect causing condemnation is the unseemly jostling of Steve Smith at the Johannesburg airport as he left the country. David Warner had earlier slipped through the OR Tambo airport unnoticed while Cameron Bancroft had a clearer passage through the throng.

However, the former Australia captain Smith needed to be flanked by a phalanx of security to make his way through a jostling crowd of media as boos rang out from bystanders amid scuffles with the security.

Kevin Pietersen, former England cricketer

Dale Steyn, South Africa bowler

Shane Warne, Australian legend

Jonathan Trott, former England cricketer

Tom Moody, former Australian cricketer

Mitchell Johnson, former Australia fast bowler

Michael Vaughan, former England captain

Sachin Tendulkar, former India cricketer

Darren Lehmann, Australia coach

"They have made a grave mistake but they are not bad people," Lehmann told reporters in Johannesburg. "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.

"These are young men and I hope people will give them a second chance. Their health and wellbeing is extremely important to us."

Shane Warne, former Australian bowler

"To hear that the Australian cricket team had been involved in pre-mediated cheating is something that is embarrassing. There is no way you can condone it," Warne wrote on his Facebook page.

"We are all so hurt and angry and maybe we weren’t so sure how to react. We’d just never seen it before. But the jump to hysteria is something that has elevated the offence beyond what they actually did, and maybe we’re at a point where the punishment just might not fit the crime.

"The hysteria has gone world wide, and everyone that dislikes the way the Australian cricket team has played, and over the past five or so years there have been rumblings about the way this team has gone about things, have been given the opportunity to lay the boots in.

"But the win at all costs attitude in modern sport can make people do stupid things. I think Steve Smith was guilty of making a severe error of judgement. He was naïve and you can’t condone what he did. He’d be devastated.

"Let’s look at his recent history though, as a captain, and a person. He’s been fantastic for the Australian team. But he has made a very silly mistake.

"I am still trying to wrestle with what I think the punishment should be. They have to be harsh, but if they are rubbed out for a year, the punishment does not fit the crime.

Dawid Malan, England batsman

"We looked at our bowlers and said that maybe our bowlers weren't as good as theirs in extracting reverse swing, but who knows? I'm not accusing anyone, I don't think anyone is accusing the Aussies of doing anything in the Ashes," Malan said.

"What happened in South Africa now with the Aussies, you can't say that happened in the Ashes just because they've been done doing something silly over there.

"I'm definitely not going to go around pointing fingers saying people did things in different series when there's no proof to do that."

Jason Gillespie, former Australia bowler

"Lads have made very bad errors in judgment and rightly these mistakes have consequences. I sincerely hope that the welfare of these guys moving forward is a priority," Gillespie wrote on Twitter.

Hashim Amla, South Africa batsman

"It obviously gives every team in the world a reality check. It allows you to ask yourself again, 'what type of cricket do you want to play?'," the Protea told reporters in Johannesburg.

"When something like this happens, you definitely feel sympathy for the person it happened to."

Chris Gayle, West Indies batsman

Michael Clarke, former Australia captain

"Whatever punishment and sanctions they cop, that is going to be nothing compared to what they're going to deal with for the rest of their lives," Clarke told the Nine Network. "They're going to be called cheats for the rest of their lives."

Simon Huhges, cricket analyst

"Lehmann, for all the vitriol thrown at him on Twitter, is a decent, down-to-earth man. He treasures his job, always puts the players' best interests at heart and is generally a happy-go-lucky, approachable chap," Hughes wrote in a column for The Cricketer.

"He might look like a rogue and he has, it is true, presided over an increasingly abrasive Australian team culture, trying to make opponents feel as uncomfortable as possible on the field. But he also knows right from wrong.

"He surely would have talked Smith and Warner out of their ball-tampering plans if he had been consulted. "

Marcus North, former Australia cricketer

"Personally I think the sanctions are a little bit harsh. I feel that those players should be banned for 12 months from international cricket. It's an absolute privilege to represent Australia in Test match cricket, they've abused that with what they've done over the weekend but to take them out of first-class cricket in Australia isn't beneficial for the game," North told BBC Radio.

"I think having them play and earn respect back in public in the professional game would be a good thing for cricket.

"I know they've been allowed to play club cricket and they've got 100 hours of community service to do as well but all these guys' lives have been turned upside down within the last 48 hours.

"Their careers have been thrown upside down, all of them. Their futures are uncertain to have such lengthy bans.

"I think Steve Smith will be absolutely devestated knowing Smithy. It's going to turn him upside dow. Cricket is his life. and i'm kind of feeling for him a little bit."

Harsha Bhogle, Indian commentator

Ian Chappell, former Australian captain

"If they'd only given six months and they'd played in the Australian summer, the booing and crowd reaction would have been so bad and it would have been very hard for the players," wrote for ESPN.

John Buchanan, former Australia coach

"They will pay a heavy price financially and reputationally but, in the end, they are tradespeople in the world of cricket and they need to be allowed to get back into the game," told CNN.

Chris Tremlett, former England bowler

"Year-long bans for Steve Smith and David Warner are a little harsh. I feel a six-month suspension, hefty fine and being stripped of their captaincy roles would have been sufficient punishment," Tremlett wrote in a City AM column.

"I also don’t believe it is too outlandish to suggest that Australia deployed similar tactics during the winter’s Ashes series as their bowlers certainly managed to get the ball reversing quite a bit.

"I don’t see why it wouldn’t have happened against England or why Australia would have suddenly changed plans, which had worked so well previously, for their tour of South Africa."

Monty Panesar, former England spinner

James Sutherland, British video game developer

Andrew Flintoff, former England cricketer

Meanwhile, Magellan Financial Group announced they had terminated its three-year partnership with CA as the naming rights sponsor of home Test series.

"The three-year partnership that Magellan signed with CA in August 2017, which commenced with the recent Ashes series, was based on shared values and reputations of integrity, leadership, dedication and an unwavering customer-first culture," Magellan's statement said.

Magellan CEO Hamish Douglass said: "A conspiracy by the leadership of the Australian Men's Test Cricket Team which broke the rules with a clear intention to gain an unfair advantage during the third Test in South Africa goes to the heart of integrity. Regrettably, these recent events are so inconsistent with our values that we are left with no option but to terminate our ongoing partnership with Cricket Australia. We were delighted with the recent Magellan Ashes Series sponsorship and it is with a heavy heart that we have to end our partnership in these circumstances.

A CA spokesperson said: "Magellan has been a valued partner over this past Ashes summer. CA believes that its response to the events in Cape Town has been appropriate and reinforces the high standards expected of Australian representatives. CA values all of its commercial partners and is certain that international cricket will remain an attractive partnership opportunity into the future." 

And the players' union also released a statement on Thursday.

"Steve Smith, Dave Warner and Cameron Bancroft made very serious mistakes in South Africa," the ACA statement said.

"It is right that these mistakes are sanctioned, and that must occur in a fair and proper way.

"The national game we all love must always demonstrate standards and behaviours consistent with both the rules, and the spirit, of cricket.

"And the game must be supported by rigorous and fair processes.

"There are a number of glaring and clear anomalies in the process to date which causes the ACA to query the severity and proportionality of the proposed sanctions.

"These are:

The grading and sanctions proposed are considerably higher than the ICC's grading and sanctions;

The disproportionally between the proposed sanctions and those previously handed down in world cricket for 'changing the condition of the ball' - including by Captains of international teams applying artificial substances;

The activation of CA's Board as a deliberative body on the proposed sanctions;

That public statements by CA to date have not referenced consideration of contextual factors including the environment in South Africa during the series and the impacts on individual players;

The rush to place players before the world's media last Saturday night without the benefit of considered and coherent advice.

"The ACA continues to provide welfare and legal support to all players.

"This welfare support will be critical at a time where the network and environment of each of the three players must play an active role in their rehabilitation.

"All Australians would understand the right of the players to receive advice from their advisers, peers and family and the time necessary to ensure the sanctions are fair and proportional.

"The ACA has called for the proposed cultural review to be fully independent and to consider all relevant factors and context surrounding these acts. The examination must also extend to CA's response and process following Saturday's events."

Qantas tour of South Africa

South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers.

Australia squad: Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Matt Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.

Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights

First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard

Second Test South Africa won by six wickets. Scorecard

Third Test South Africa won by 322 runs. Scorecard

Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage