Sydney, Oct 25 (PTI) Former Australia captain Tim Paine has accused South Africa of tampering with the ball in the Johannesburg test just days after the infamous sandpaper gate scandal in Cape Town which rocked world cricket in 2018.
The fallout from the Cape Town Test, the third in the four-game series, had been enormous.
Then captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were hit with a one-year international ban while Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months by Cricket Australia for their role in the scandal. It has also sparked cultural scrutiny of Australian cricket.
However, Paine claimed in his new book that the Proteas engaged in ball tampering during the fourth Test at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.
“I saw it happen in the fourth test of this series,” Paine wrote in his new autobiography “The Paid Price.”
“Think about it. After all that happened in Cape Town, after all the headlines and bans and carry on.
“I was standing on the bowlers side during the next test when a shot appeared on the screen from a South African player halfway through with a huge ball crack,” he added.
Paine was part of the Australian eleven playing in Cape Town (March 22-26) and then captained the team in Johannesburg (March 30-April 03).
Paine, who stepped down as Test captain last year, also alleged the incident was covered up by broadcasters.
“The television director, who had played an active role in Cam’s capture, immediately removed the shot from the screen.
“We went to the referees about it, which may seem a bit poor, but we had been downcast and were confident they were up to it from the first test.
“But the images got lost. Like he would,” Paine said.
The wicket-keeper admitted he couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing on TV, denying speculation that the dressing room knew about the plan (of the sandpaper door scandal).
“Cricketers keep a lot to themselves, even on the happiest teams. Coaches and support staff do the same,” Paine wrote.
“Everyone was shocked when they looked up at the big screen and saw Cameron Bancroft with a piece of sandpaper in his hand. I was stunned. We all were.
The 37-year-old said ball tampering was common in cricket, adding that he had seen players “stick little pieces of sandpaper on their fingers”.
Paine felt the team should have taken more responsibility and supported the trio of Smith, Bancroft and Warner following the scandal.
“Steve and Cam were alone. Things were tense and horrible. I think Davey felt abandoned and no one cared for him.
“Everyone was part of it to some degree – would it have worked better for those three players if we had owned him as a team? I think it would be,” Paine wrote.
“On reflection, all three should have had more support. Maybe we could have done more as a group or organization because there aren’t enough people stepping into their shoes.
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