Former Australia bowling coach David Saker, who was with the team during the 2018 ball-tampering scandal, on Sunday said it was a “monumental mistake” which could have been prevented and for which fingers can also be pointed at him. The review of Australia’s win-at-all-cost team culture after the incident led to varying punishments for then captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and the man who had the sandpaper in his possession at that time, opener Cameron Bancroft. But Sekar felt it was collective failure.
“Obviously a lot of things went wrong at that time. The finger-pointing is going to go on and on and on. There was a lot of people to blame. It could have been me to blame, it could have been someone else. It could have been stopped and it wasn’t, which is unfortunate,” Saker told the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.
“Cameron’s (Bancroft) a very nice guy. He’s just doing it to get something off his chest … He’s not going to be the last,” he added.
Sekar lamented that the incident is going to be associated with Australian cricket forever and there is nothing one can do about it.
“You could point your finger at me, you could point your finger at Boof (then coach Darren Lehmann), could you point it at other people, of course you could,” he said.
“The disappointing thing is it’s never going to go away. Regardless of what’s said. We all know that we made a monumental mistake. The gravity wasn’t as plain until it all came out,” he added.
The 54-year-old Victorian made the statement after Bancroft made a startling revelation that Australian bowlers at the time might have had some knowledge about the plot.
Saker believes the incident will hound Australian cricket for decades like the Trevor Chappell’s underarm bowling against New Zealand 40 years ago.
While Cricket Australia issued a statement saying that it was open to a re-investigation into the incident, Saker said he was not sure what could possibly come out of it.
“I don’t think it’d be unfair. I just don’t know what they’re going to find out,” Saker said. “It’s like the underarm, it’s never going to go away.”
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