Smith, you’re out

Australian cricket has been dealt a new ball thunderbolt to the solar plexus and is on its knees.
The problem is the wound is self inflicted.
In the most shameful act since the 1981 underarm affair, the captain and vice-captain of the team have admitted to cheating in a Test match.
Deliberately tampering with the ball is like giving a racehorse a stimulant or having illegal tyres in the Clipsal 500. This is no winged keel – an advantage gained through hard work, ingenuity and effort.
It was a low and amateurish act which has brought great shame on this sporting nation.
The doomed plan has tarnished the reputations of not just the players involved, but the hundreds who have previously worn the baggy green with pride.
It has shattered the dreams and aspirations of thousands of young cricketers – both boys and girls.
And although we will recover, it has damaged this nation’s view of itself.
Cricket is the oddest of games.
It is one of the few sports where the spirit in which the game is played is almost as important as the outcome. But these greedy, self-serving men showed no respect for that wonderful aspect of the game.
For a number of years the behavior of the national side has been unedifying in the extreme.
Nasty and spiteful sledging has become the norm with these professional athletes behaving in a very unprofessional way and officials doing nothing. Everyone prefers winning, but the current players and management have lost sight that there is no shame in losing to a better side.
At this stage it is unknown if this incident was the first time the players had attempted to gain an unfair advantage by altering the ball in this way, but the ramifications have been long and loud with the fallout likely to result in significant change within Cricket Australia.
And perhaps that is where there may be a silver lining in all this mess.
Captain Steve Smith and vice captain David Warner are not fit to represent this nation in any leadership capacity again.
Head coach Darren Lehmann has overseen the rise of this toxic culture and has nothing more to contribute.
Cultural change trickles down from the top and it is from there the heads must roll.