Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Regaining Respect Will Take Time, Says Ponting

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Regaining Respect Will Take Time, Says Ponting

Article excerpt

Byline: Will Macpherson at Lord's

DAVID WARNER and Steve Smith still have work to do before regaining the respect of the cricketing public, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting warned today.

The controversial pair faced England in today's World Cup clash the first time they have done so in a competitive match since completing one-year bans for their involvement in the 'Sandpapergate' scandal in March 2018.

England captain Eoin Morgan made no move to dampen possible hostility towards Smith and Warner here today, though Warner has allowed little to distract him in this tournament. Before today's match, the 32-year-old had scored 447 runs in six innings at an average of nearly 90.

Yet Ponting who won the World Cup three times from 1999-2007 believes the events of Cape Town still haunt Smith and Warner. They were punished for the events that led team-mate Cameron Bancroft to rub sandpaper on the ball during a Test against South Africa, in an attempt to gain an illegal advantage. The three were suspended, with Smith stripped of the captaincy.

Ponting said: "The money, and being out of the Australian team, that's one thing, but when you're playing a game where you're trying to please the public all of the time, when you lose their respect that's the hardest thing to get back.

"That's why I think it was really important for Smith and Warner to make the most of that time away and learn about themselves so that when they came back to play international cricket again, they were ready to play bloody well that's the way they get the respect back and then they'll start feeling better about themselves.

"I don't think these two boys are the only two boys who have ever tampered with a cricket ball. Even in this country there's been a few guys who went back onto the field [after penalties] and weren't booed. Everybody understands it and those boys are not proud of what's happened. …

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