Indian cricketers Ashwin, Gambhir come out in support of former Australian captain Steve Smith
Former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith has come under heavy criticism for his role in the ball-tampering scandal that has shaken world cricket. The 28-year-old player broke down while addressing the media this week. He accepted full responsibility for the controversy that has resulted in a one-year ban for both him and his deputy David Warner.
After Smith's emotional press conference, Indian cricketers Ravichandran Ashwin and Gautam Gambhir have come to his defence. They have appealed to everyone to stop criticising Smith and the other cricketers involved.
Gambhir tweeted asking if Smith was being treated harshly as he had asked for a pay hike from Cricket Australia.
He also said that Smith had made a mistake, but was definitely not a cheat.
I may be getting emotional but @stevesmith49 doesn’t look to me a cheat. Don’t know about u but I see in him a desperate leader trying to win a Test match for his country, his team. Yes, indeed, his methods were questionable but let’s not label him corrupt #BallTamperingScandal - Gautam Gambhir
Ashwin also made an appeal on behalf of the three Australian cricketers involved in the ball-tampering controversy.
The world simply wants to see you cry, once you have cried they will feel satisfied and live happily ever after. If only Empathy was not just a Word and people still had it. God give @stevesmith49 and Bancroft all the strength to come out of this - Ravichandran Ashwin
Smith and deputy captain Warner have been banned from cricket for 12 months. Another player Cameron Bancroft was slapped with a nine-month ban by Cricket Australia.