• Flintoff: Smith took blame for everyone

    Former England captain Andrew Flintoff is doubtful trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were the only Australians aware of the ball-tampering conducted during the 2018 Test series against South Africa.

    Smith, Warner and Bancroft served lengthy bans after being found guilty of ball-tampering during the third and final Test at Newlands in Cape Town two years ago.

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    ‘I can’t believe that the whole team isn’t in on it,’ Flintoff said on talkSPORT.

    ‘As a bowler, if someone gives me a ball that’s been tampered with, I know initially. One of the things that Steve did is take the blame for everyone else.

    ‘Things like ball-tampering have gone on for a long, long time and I think it’s just the degrees where you take it. We were accused of putting sweets on the ball. People put sun cream on it, tried everything they can.

    ‘Sandpaper is wrong, but it’s stupid more than anything. But I can’t believe that everyone in the team wasn’t involved in some way or another.’

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    Smith, Warner and Bancroft have since returned to international cricket. Smith starred in Australia’s two-all Ashes series draw with England last year and recently became eligible to captain the Test, ODI and T20I XI again.

    Photo: Getty Images

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