Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday backed the Cricket Australia's ban on former skipper Steve Smith, deputy David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft in a ball tampering scandal. Sachin, who was misjudged for the same offence during India's tour of South Africa in 2001, but later given a clean chit by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the ground that he was "cleaning the ball without the umpire's permission rather than tampering", maintained that the game should be played in its purest form. "Cricket has been known as a gentleman's game. It's a game that I believe should be played in the purest form," Sachin wrote on Twitter.
"Whatever has happened is unfortunate but the right decision has been taken to uphold the integrity of the game. Winning is important but the way you win is more important," he added.
Cricket has been known as a gentleman's game. It's a game that I believe should be played in the purest form. Whatever has happened is unfortunate but the right decision has been taken to uphold the integrity of the game. Winning is important but the way you win is more important— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 28, 2018
Following investigations by Cricket Australia, Smith and Warner were on Wednesday banned for 12 months each and Bancroft for nine months.
Subsequently, Warner and Smith were also banned by the Indian Premier League for the upcoming edition of the Twenty20 cash-rich franchise-based meet in India.
Bancroft, the player caught on camera attempting to doctor the ball with a piece of tape, was also handed a nine-month ban. Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland met the players at their hotel in Johannesburg's Sandton district to tell them their fate before they flew back to Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
"As the Chairman has noted, the sanctions we have announced are significant for the individuals involved. That is why the process has had to be thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined," Sutherland said.
"I am satisfied that the sanctions in this case properly reflect a balance between the need to protect the integrity and reputation of the game and the need to maintain the possibility of redemption for the individuals involved, all of whom have learned difficult lessons through these events," he added.
(With IANS Inputs)