Morgan hopes ball-tampering bans will restore cricket’s image

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Eoin Morgan England Australia

England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan believes cricket’s reputation has been “battered” by the recent ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town but hopes the sanctions imposed on the Australian trio could help the game move on from the episode.

Cricket Australia handed 12-month bans to former captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months after he was caught using a piece of sandpaper on the ball in the third test against South Africa.

Morgan said the severity of the punishment has sent a firm message to the players that such tactics against the spirit of the game will not be tolerated.

“In the last two weeks cricket has been battered and not for the right reasons,” he told reporters.

“I’d like to think that the balance changed when the sanctions were imposed, because they were serious sanctions. You can see it and say it’s wrong but to then back it up with such a sanction says a huge amount.”

Smith and Bancroft were also barred from holding leadership positions within the Australian team for two years, while Warner will never be able to hold such a position again.

Morgan accepts there are some “grey areas” around the issue of ball-tampering but Cricket Australia’s actions have made it clear that none of the methods to scuff up the ball are acceptable.

“Throwing the ball in, one bounce, is fine… but if you throw to the keeper from long-on or long-off, the umpires will monitor how often the ball hits the playing surface and tell you they’ll change the ball if you do it again,” he added.

“So, yes, there are grey areas but I think Cricket Australia have gone a long way to saying none of it is acceptable.”

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