Steve Smith is known for pushing the boundaries of what is right and what is utterly ridiculous. The Australian international cricketer does not seem to understand that he is in a high profile career, with millions of eyes, along with hundreds of cameras, on him at all times; especially when he takes to the field.
Almost three years since Sandpapergate took place at Newlands; during which the then Australian captain instructed Cameron Bancroft to sand the ball down to accelerate its deterioration, Smith was once again caught cheating on camera. This time the incident happened on Australian soil, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, during their third test against India.
During the hotly contested match, Smith was caught scuffing Rishabh Pant’s batting guard marks in an attempt to throw the batter off his game. Pant put on an incredible display, scoring 97 to help his team secure a draw at the SCG, but the biggest story to emerge from the match was Steve Smith’s attempt at mind games and cheating. The whole cricketing world was set abuzz after the images were shared far and wide mere minutes after they were broadcast live on TV.
Former England fast bowler, Darren Gough, has criticised Smith for his latest antics, saying, “First of all you had Steve Smith who showed us all these tears and sorrow a few years ago when they got done for using sandpaper on the ball, he was the captain who was responsible for that because he was the leader of the team. Now during a break in play, he’s going round and dancing around, scuffing up the pitch and rubbing out the mark with his spikes of the batsman’s marker.”
The current captain of the Australian side, Tim Paine, has come to the defence of his compatriot, “He’s always standing in the batting crease shadow batting. As we know, he’s got those many Steve Smith quirks and one of those is he is always marking centre,” said the wicket-keeper, who hinted at his possible retirement from test cricket yesterday. He went on to explain, “He was certainly not changing [Pant’s] guard and I imagine if he was, the Indian players would have kicked up a bit stink at the time.”
Steve Smith scored 131 and 81 in his two innings to earn himself the man-of-the-match award, as well as a long list of new critics. The controversial character only adds to his list of other discrepancies and has left an ugly mark on his reputation. Having only scored an underwhelming 36 in his first innings of the fourth and final Test against India, he’ll be hoping to make amends and endear himself to the Australian public again.