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Ball-tampering scandal: Harbhajan Singh softens stand on Australian trio after heavy sanctions

Cricket Australia has banned Steve Smith and David Warner for 12 months while Cameron Bancroft has been given a 9-month ban for their role in ball-tampering scandal.

Reported by: India TV Sports Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: March 30, 2018 13:53 IST ]
Image Source : PTI

Steve Smith broke down in the press meet where he was apologising for his role in the ball-tampering saga.

India cricketer Harbhajan Singh seems to have taken a softer stand on the punishments handed out to Australia cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft in the ball-tampering saga that has shocked the entire cricketing fraternity.

The experienced off-spinner had earlier slammed the ICC and accused the governing body of bias for letting off Smith with just one-Test ban and opener Bancroft with only a fine of 75 per cent of his match fee.

"wow @ICC wow. Great treatment nd FairPlay. No ban for Bancroft with all the evidences whereas 6 of us were banned for excessive appealing in South Africa 2001 without any evidence and Remember Sydney 2008? Not found guilty and banned for 3 matches.different people different rules," Bhajji had tweeted.

However, Harbhajan has now made an u-turn after Cricket Australia's heavy sanctions against its cricketers.

"A year ban for ball tempering ?? That’s a joke.What kind of crime they have done ?Taking the game away from someone for a year is absolutely nonsense.understand if ban was for 1 test series or 2 but this is ridiculous.hope @CricketAus reduce th ban @stevesmith49 @davidwarner31," Harbhajan said in his latest tweet.

Other Indian cricketers too have come out in support of the Australian cricket trio.

While Gautam Gambhir felt the sanctions were a bit harsh, Rohit Sharma said the incident should not define Smith and his two fallen teammates.

The fallout from the ball-tampering scandal in cricket reduced Australia's two most high-profile figures to tears on Thursday, with captain Steve Smith apologising to the nation and his family before coach Darren Lehmann announced his intention to quit.

After losing the captaincy of the test team because of the incident in South Africa, Smith returned to Australia and broke down several times in a news conference at Sydney airport.

"I just want to say I'm sorry for the pain that I've brought to Australia and the fans and the public," he said. "It's devastating and I'm truly sorry."

Smith started crying as he took responsibility for the ball-tampering plot in the Cape Town test last weekend and reflected on the effect his involvement in it has had on his parents.

Hours later, Lehmann wiped away tears in Johannesburg while announcing he would be quitting as Australia coach when the ill-tempered series against South Africa concluded after the fourth and final test.

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