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The scale of cheating in Australian cricket will come to horrify us all

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 26 March 2018

The lead opinion piece in today's Times newspaper explains how academic success is not down to the choice of school but is genetic. The lead sports story is about how a nation where most folks are descended from convicted criminals has been caught cheating on an industrial scale at its national sport. Discuss.

Of course that is a bit unfair. Cricket is no longer the national sport of Australia. Its cheating. So far we have seen an admission that senior Aussie players colluded in cheating by ball tampering in the 4th test in South Africa. But now it emerges that the sap who got caught Cameron Bancroft was only asked to cheat because the usual ball tamperer, vice captain David Warner, was being watched closely after his tampering in a previous match.

Now it emerges that Warner boasted to the England players how he cheated during the last Ashes. We had thought that the reason that the Aussies got the ball to move was because they were just better bowlers than England's lager louts. That is, probably still the case but we will never know as it seems that the Australians were also cheating on an industrial scale.

Now we find ourselves asking the same questions we used to ask of East German women's athletics or the asthma plagued stars of British cycling: when exactly did you start cheating? Were you ever honest? Should we take any of your wins at all seriously now?

For Australian cricket to move forward it has to offer a mea culpa and a genuine one backed by action not just a Jeremy Corbyn some members of the Labour Party cheer against Tottenham Hotspur but there is no real issue here type apology. And more than words are needed but action, that is to say life bans for all players who were either involved in or aware of the cheating. And if Australia cheated in the Ashes then, like Lance Armstrong, they should lose that title and trophy and the records be rewritten - a 4 nil defeat of of the lager louts should be a 0-5 loss to the lager louts.

It is about the only way that England could win a test series these days but if Australia were cheating on a systematic basis they deserve to be declared the ultimate losers

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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