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Steve Smith, David Warner paying for pay hike revolt against Cricket Australia, asks Gautam Gambhir

Gambhir questioned Cricket Australia's approach on the matter, mentioning Smith and Warner must be paying for a pay hike revolt against the board.

Written by: Akash Khanna, New Delhi [ Updated: March 30, 2018 15:27 IST ]
Image Source : AP

Steve Smith speaking at the press conference after ball-tampering scandal

India opener and Delhi Daredevils captain Gautam Gambhir on Thursday came in support of former Australian skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, saying a 12-month ban each on both the cricketers are "a bit harsh". He also questioned Cricket Australia's approach on the matter, mentioning Smith and Warner must be paying for a pay hike revolt against the board.

"While cricket needs to be corruption-free but I feel sanctions on Aussies bit harsh. Are @stevesmith49 & @davidwarner31 paying for revolt for a pay hike? History has it administrators deride those who stand up for players’ cause. Classic case: Ian Chappell," Gambhir said on Twitter. 

Smith, who was banned for 12 months for allowing the ball-tampering, on Thursday broke down at a press conference as he apologised for his role in the scandal on his return to Australia. Warner was also banned for a year while opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, who used a sandpaper to tamper the ball under the guidance of Australian "leadership group", was suspended for nine months.

Amidst all the emotional stress of the ball-tampering scandal, Darren Lehmann announced on Thursday that he would quit after the fourth and final Test against South Africa.

According to Gambhir, it would be the toughest phase for the involved cricketers and their families as they will be seen as "soft targets". 

"Feel sorry for @stevesmith49 dad (in pic) other family members. Hope media and Aussie public go easy on them as families can be soft targets. More than the ban living with this feeling of being called a cheat is a bigger punishment," he said.

The 36-year-old Delhi batsman said that Smith is not a cheat but a desperate leader, who was trying to win a Test match for his country.

"I may be getting emotional but @stevesmith49 doesn’t look to me a cheat. Don’t know about you but I see in him a desperate leader trying to win a Test match for his country, his team. Yes, indeed, his methods were questionable but let’s not label him corrupt."

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