Former Proteas bowler Kyle Abbott says Australia’s ball-tampering scandal was ‘blown out of proportion’.
Former captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner each received a one-year ban for the incident at Newlands in March and Bancroft, who tampered with the ball, nine months.
All three players were reduced to tears during their press conferences in Australia and left off the national contracts list announced by Cricket Australia on Wednesday.
Australia batsman Glenn Maxwell has said his teammates were treated like ‘criminals’ and Abbott agrees Cricket Australia went too far as far as their punishments are concerned.
‘It was blown out of proportion,’ Abbott, who is playing for Hampshire, told ESPNcricinfo. ‘It was quite blatant, yes, and you can’t get away from that. I’ve heard some players say in recent months that at some point in your career, at club level or international level, you’ve tried to get that ball to reverse.
‘In which way you do it, well, that’s sort of your discretion. But it can’t be that obvious at the end of the day. I thought the ICC match bans were fair – a one-match ban and 100% match fee. But my personal feeling is that Australia and the rest of the world have taken it a little bit too far.’
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