Ian Chappell Slammed Cricket Australia To Appoint Steve Smith As Vice-Captain
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Ian Chappell Slammed Cricket Australia To Appoint Steve Smith As Vice-Captain

Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell

Ian Chappell has slammed Cricket Australia’s (CA) decision to appoint Steve Smith as vice-captain of the team ahead of the five-Test Ashes series beginning at the Gabba on December 8.

Ian Chappell’s comments have put the spotlight back on the ball-tampering episode that took place during the third Test against South Africa at Newlands, Cape Town, in 2018.

Ian Chappell. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Ian Chappell. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ian Chappell Thinks Steve Smith’s Crime In 2018 Sandpaper Gate Scandal Was Greater And Shouldn’t Have Been Appointed Vice-Captain

The-then Australian skipper Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and team-mate Cameron Bancroft were banned for different periods following the ball-tampering scandal, which came to be known as “Sandpaper-gate”. In addition to a one-year suspension, a two-year leadership ban was also imposed on Steve Smith, while David Warner, who was the then vice-captain, also received a year ban, as well as a lifetime leadership ban.

Ian Chappell said, “If I’d have cheated as an Australian captain, they (CA) would have taken the job away from me and made sure I didn’t continue to play as a player.”

“I wish that Cricket Australia had made a clean break, but for Cricket Australia to get anything right at the moment is asking a bit much,” Ian Chappell said on 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio on Saturday.

Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

“For starters, I have a problem — why is Steve Smith looked upon as a different punishment to David Warner? In fact, if anything, I think Steve Smith’s crime was greater. For a captain to say, ‘I don’t want to know’ when cheating is involved, is not correct. A captain’s got to know, he’s got to find out and he’s got to do something about it.

“Either Steve Smith has a two-year ban from captaincy and so does David Warner, or Steve Smith has a life ban and so does Dave Warner. Same thing,” said Ian Chappell.

Pat Cummins has been appointed as Australia’s 47th Test captain, while Steve Smith has been named his deputy ahead of the home Ashes 2021/22, which starts on December 8 in Brisbane. Steve Smith returned to a leadership role for the first time since the Sandpaper Gate in 2018. Steve Smith captained Australia in 34 Tests prior to 2018, in which he guided them to 18 victories, 10 defeats, and six draws.

Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned by Cricket Australia (CA) for different duration, not exceeding one year, over their role in the ball-tampering episode — also termed Sandpaper-gate scandal — in the 2018 Test series in South Africa.

Ian Chappell Said Cheating  Is A Mistake, And He Didn’t Ever Cheat

Ian Chappell said that had he committed such an indiscretion, Cricket Australia would never have forgiven him, probably shut the door on him for life.

“Cheating is cheating, whether it’s big cheating or little cheating, it’s still cheating in my book. If I’d have cheated as an Australian captain — I mean I made a lot of mistakes but I didn’t cheat.

“And if I had cheated, and if I had done what Tim Paine did, I would have expected Cricket Australia to not ask me to resign, they would have taken the job away from me and made sure I didn’t continue to play as a player,” said Ian Chappell.

Cricket Australia
Cricket Australia

Steve Smith had succeeded Michael Clarke as Australia’s captain in all formats in 2015. He was captain of the team when England last toured the country for the Ashes.

However, his captaincy came to an abrupt end in 2018 amidst the Newlands (South Africa, 2018) ball-tampering scandal, which resulted in him and David Warner being banned from all cricket for a year.

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