SWANNY’S WORLD OF SPORT: ‘It’s just not cricket’ is now a redundant phrase

Cheating Aussie skipper Steve Smith as he left South Africa in disgrace today (Wednesday).
Cheating Aussie skipper Steve Smith as he left South Africa in disgrace today (Wednesday).
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Punishments never fit the crimes in elite sports.

Just witness the ugly rush to get nasty old Russia back into the Olympic fold despite no clear evidence of them cleaning up their their fondness for doping athletes.

Cheating Australian David Warner.

Cheating Australian David Warner.

In football, the biggest competition of them all, the World Cup, is usually in the gift of corrupt individuals and organisations.

But, somehow, cheating at cricket just seems so much grubbier, so much more disappointing.

There was a reason why the phrase ‘it’s just not cricket’ was used as an antidote to rule-bending in other sports. You couldn’t utter those words now without being laughed out of town.

I did hope the sheer weight of opprobium aimed at the cheating Australians - even from their own fanbase and media - would have led to serious sanctions, but I was far too optimistic.

Cheating Australian cricketer Cameron Bancroft.

Cheating Australian cricketer Cameron Bancroft.

Captain Steve Smith who should have quit as soon as he was exposed instead of shrugging his shoulders, promising it hadn’t happened before (yeah, right) and wouldn’t happen again (of course not), and his ugly vice-captain David Warner will conveniently be back in time for the 2019 World Cup and the next Ashes Series.

Cameron Bancroft, the man guilty of the most pathetically comedic attempt at a cover up, can play in the next Australian domestic season.

And cowardly coach Darren Lehmann, a loudmouth who has embarrassingly hidden away since the scandal broke, appears to have escaped without punishment at all, a rather incredible decision.

The idea that he had no idea what was going on under his nose is laughable. If he didn’t know anything he must be seriously thick.

Arrogant monsters like Smith, Warner and Lehmann believed they could get away with anything from on-field bullying and abuse to blatant pre-planned cheating, possibly in the expectation the response from their own governing body Cricket Australia would be weak and because the game’s supreme leaders the ICC are risibly inadequate when it comes to matters of discipline.

The ICC regard the over-celebration of a wicket during a game as a far more serious offence than blatant cheating. That’s some logic from a spineless bunch of administrators who are in thrall of the biggest names in their sport.

Their response to the shameful scenes in Cape Town was to issue a one-game ban to Smith and no ban at all to vice-captain Warner or the actual ball-tamperer.

Ah well at least the snarling, contorted faces of Smith and Warner (and that’s when they’re winning) won’t be seen for a while, even if their bans should have been for longer, if only to properly recognise the sheer stupidity of believing idiotic actions could defeat 30 cameras, some employed entirely to seek out controversy.

The sad thing is they’ll be back, doubtless welcomed with open arms, especially if Australia’s results decline while they’re away. which they will.