Ball tampering is illegal by the laws of cricket. It is, however, relatively common. Players at the highest levels are caught and punished regularly, with an instance every year or two.

Normally these punishments are fairly mild, amounting to a caution or a fine. This seems in keeping with the nature of the offence, for which there is little clear evidence that it confers much, if any, advantage.

The 2018 Australian scandal, though, has seen bans and resignations from three players and the head coach. This is many orders of magnitude more severe than usual.

I understand there are aspects of this which make it more serious than usual: the fact it was premeditated, and that it was planned by two senior players who pressured a junior to enact it. I appreciate that some of the players involved have been revealed as unpleasant hypocrites, who have previously denounced cheating.

But nonetheless, a year's ban compared to a small fine seems an astronomical escalation. Why?

  • Folks, please remember comments are there to improve and clarify the question, not to answer it. If you want to answer it, please post an answer. – Philip Kendall Mar 31 '18 at 18:26
  • Never gets an answer but never hurts to ask: why the downvote? Explaining will help me (and others) improve future questions. – Bob Tway Mar 31 '18 at 18:32
  • I didn't downvote, but this is attracting close votes for being "primarily opinion based". While downvotes and close votes should be different, they're often highly correlated. – Philip Kendall Mar 31 '18 at 18:34
  • @philip-kendall ah, ok. I thought it was a good question and a good fit. Happy to delete if not. – Bob Tway Mar 31 '18 at 18:48
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    (For avoidance of doubt, this is a personal comment. It is not meant to represent the views of the moderation team). I think it's interesting why CA have handed down such heavy punishment - but I'm not sure it's a great Stack Exchange question as it runs the risk of people weighing in with their opinions, rather than answering with CA's reasons - and as far as I know, CA's statements on this have been somewhat bland, sticking to the decisions made rather than the reasons behind them. I have talked about it in The Clubhouse. – Philip Kendall Mar 31 '18 at 19:05

Australia has always been the most outspoken cricketing nation in regards to cheating and doping. Remember Shane Warne himself was suspended for a year when he was caught for doping and this was after all he did was take diet pills with banned substances in (After his mother told him he looked fat on TV, apparently).

For them to be caught cheating so blatantly must be a massive embarrassment for a nation that has prided themselves on being honest and hard playing. So the bans seem to be in line with their previous attitudes.

That being said, it will be highly unlikely that we see Warner and Smith ever play for Australia again, these bans may, in all honesty, may just as well have been permanent, because I cannot really see CA every picking such players that have been such a disgrace ever again.

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