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Flintoff ridicules the notion that only 3 Aussies knew about ball tampering

Freddie Flintoff Lancashire CCC and England cricket legend
©Reuters
 

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff said that it is hard to swallow that the entire Australia team was not aware of the plan to change the condition of the ball.

Known to speak his mind, Andrew Flintoff rubbished the claim that only three Aussie players were privy to the ball tampering scandal. In a chat broadcasted on BBC Radio 5 live, the all-rounder said that he was struggling to buy that the entire plan was not brought in cognizance of the whole team before taking such a major step.

After being found guilty of ball-tampering, Cameron Bancroft was banned for nine months by Cricket Australia whereas Captain Steve Smith and Vice-captain David Warner were slapped a one-year ban each.

Flintoff said, "I might be completely wrong but you talk about it. You talk about how you are going to treat the ball. The ball in cricket is so important. To say that a bowler has got a ball in his hands, or anybody else in the field does not know that this ball has been tampered with is absolute nonsense.”

Freddie expressed his surprise over the proposition that Aussie bowlers were not party to the offense as it is the bowlers who handle the ball every now and then and put in so much effort to maintain the ball in a particular condition.

"You talk and talk and talk about how you're going to look after this ball. To then say that other players did not know about that - if that's the case I feel sorry for Mitchell Starc. He's got the ball in his hands. He's running in thinking he's Wasim Akram - this ball is moving everywhere. He is thinking: 'I'm cracking it here, I'm doing something which is unbelievable.”

Flintoff also believes that Cricket Australia went a bit overboard with their decision and that things could have been handled in more mature manner. He said, "The crime doesn't warrant that. One of the things which has really annoyed me is I've seen people raising their profile on the back of other people's misery. Some of them live in glass houses - don't be chucking your stones at someone lads. We've done a few things which aren't particularly in the rules – not as bad as that – and it changes.”

"Then I saw Steve Smith on TV crying his heart out, so disturbed, and I put a tweet out saying: 'Are you happy now? Is that what you wanted?'"

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