Australia captain Steve Smith says the importance of winning tempted Australia into ball tampering.
After Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith shocked the media by admitting to ball tampering, the major question was: why?
The Proteas are well on the way to setting a massive lead and Smith admitted to feeling the pressure.
‘We saw this game as such an important game, an opportunity. We obviously saw the ball reverse swinging quite a lot in this series,’ said Smith.
‘Our ball just didn’t look like it was going to go. That’s a mistake on our behalf again. It is such poor actions and deeply regrettable.’
The Australia skipper openly admitted that he, Bancroft and a ‘leadership group’ were involved in the decision.
Although Smith refused to mention any names, it is suspected that this leadership group consists of the experienced players (David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Shaun Marsh, etc).
To win at all costs is exactly what Smith and his charges have been found guilty of.
‘This is the first time it has happened. We will move on from this. I am embarrassed. The boys in the sheds are embarrassed. I feel for Cam as well,’ Smith added.
‘It is not what the Australian cricket team is about. Being the leader of the team, I am incredibly sorry for, I guess, bringing the game into disrepute in the way we did today.
‘It is a poor reflection on everyone in the dressing room. If we weren’t caught, I would still feel incredibly bad about it.’
Photo: Dave Hunt/EPA