Darren Gough “gobsmacked” to hear Smith, Warner and Bancroft being considered for county
The former England pacer is shocked at the manner in which the banned Aussie cricketers have been allowed to play county cricket.
Updated - Apr 25, 2018 1:00 pm
Former English bowler Darren Gough expressed his surprise and disapproval at Surrey coach Michael di Venuto’s statement about roping in the three banned Australian cricketers into the English county. Earlier in April, di Venuto had said that it would be “mad” to not take advantage of such talents, provided the trinity is in the state of mind to play and the England Cricket Board gives them permission to play in the county.
The three Aussies, captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are facing the consequences of the ball tampering scandal that took place in the third test of the South Africa series. Smith and Warner each got a twelve-month ban from international cricket as well as from the ongoing Indian Premier League. Bancroft was slammed with a nine-month ban because of his younger age.
“If they are in the right mental state to play cricket and the ECB will have to allow it to start with, then we’d be mad not to look at some of the world’s best players potentially playing,” di Venuto had remarked, according to cricket.com.au.
But Gough would be very much disappointed if this actually happened, as it is clear from his article on the Yorkshire Post. “I was absolutely gobsmacked when I heard that Surrey coach Michael di Venuto said he would be keen to sign one of Australia’s banned Test stars in Steve Smith, David Warner or Cameron Bancroft,” he started.
Even though he thinks that this is a “sensitive issue” and that the hype regarding the incident has been unnecessary, in his opinion it is better to wait out their period of the ban before including them in county cricket. He speaks in the article both as a former professional cricketer as well as a county fan.
Have no issue with benefits for Cricket Australia says, Gough
“I do think there has been an overreaction regarding the bans, but once they got the 12-month bans from Cricket Australia, I would be hugely disappointed if one of the counties – as a Yorkshire fan – employed one of those three this season,” wrote the ex-pacer. “Next season, I would have no issue with it. They will have then served their ban. But not this season,” he added.
He also mentions in his article how Somerset set an example by quickly replacing Bancroft for this season. “Somerset led the way for me by getting rid of Bancroft and replacing him with Matt Renshaw,” he said.
What bothered Gough, even more, is di Venuto’s suggestion of trying and helping Cricket Australia. “I am not bothered about benefitting Australian cricket. Why would one of our coaches in this country want to benefit their cricket with the Ashes coming up here next year?” he mused.
He concluded his piece by saying that it would not look good for England cricket to welcome the banned cricketers into the county this year. “This year, with everything that has gone on, I think it would be a bad move for a county to take them.”