Aiden Markram says the Proteas were stunned by the ball-tampering incident.
Former Australia captain Steve Smith, former vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft admitted to tampering with the ball in the third Test at Newlands. As a result, all three were punished by Cricket Australia with Bancroft serving a nine-month ban, while Smith and Warner will serve a year-long ban.
Proteas opening batsman, Markram, who played in his maiden Test series against Australia, expressed his thoughts on the incident during his unveiling as Durham’s new overseas player.
‘We were shocked,’ said Markram.
‘The heat of the series was obviously happening, it was the third Test match and it was a crunch game, and the next thing, the story broke out.
‘We woke up the next morning and the guys couldn’t believe what happened. It hit home overnight.’
Markram, who had a great debut series against the Aussies, scoring two centuries, believes the game can still be played in good spirit.
‘On the field, there are a lot of pressures to deal with and a lot of competitive juices that get flowing, and that’s when it’s the toughest part to try to keep it in the spirit of cricket,’ said Markram.
‘But definitely afterwards or after something, let’s say, happens that is not in the spirit of cricket, you get your apology very quickly and you get your reasons behind it.
‘If the reasons make sense to you, then you accept your apology; if not, you try to look past it.
‘But I still think there is that element in the game and I don’t think it is something we should lose at all.
‘For as long as I play, wherever I play in the world, it’s something I’ll encourage and drive forward because at the end of the day, it is the gentleman’s game and it’s a big part of cricket itself.’
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