Australian cricket hits 34-year low in wake of sandpaper scandal

Australian cricket hits 34-year low in wake of sandpaper scandal

- Australia’s once mighty cricketing team has fallen to a 34-year low in the ICC rankings

- The team is struggling to come to terms with the fallout of the ball tampering scandal which broke in South Africa and led to two of their best players being banned for a year

- Australia have lost 13 of their last 15 One-Day International matches

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The current cricket world champions and once mighty Australian team has fallen to a 34-year low on the International Cricket Council (ICC) One-Day International (ODIs) rankings. This comes as Australia lost the second ODI against England.

The loss means Australia have lost 13 of their last 15 ODIs. Australia is now ranked a lowly sixth on the latest ICC ODI rankings.

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The Australian team is still struggling to come to terms with the fallout from the so-called sandpapergate scandal which broke in South Africa earlier this year.

Briefly.co.za gathered that TV cameras caught Cameron Bancroft using a piece of sandpaper to alter the state of the cricket ball during the Cape Town Test match. It later emerged that Bancroft had acted on instructions from captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner.

The repercussions of the incident are only now starting to be fully felt by the shell-shocked team.

Immediately after the match Smith, Warner and Bancroft were sent back to Australia, all three players were banned from playing for the national side for a year. Smith and Warner were dumped by their Indian Premier League (IPL) teams which cost them millions of rand in lost income.

Cricket commentators have expressed doubts over whether Warner will ever play for Australia again. He is thought to have been the main instigator behind the ball-tampering and he has a tumultuous relationship with Cricket Australia.

More damaging for Australia, both Smith and Warner are two of the best batsmen and fielders not only in the team, but in the world.

The public backlash in Australia was unprecedented and the country’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called for a comprehensive investigation into the matter by Cricket Australia.

This led to coach Daren Lehmann resigning from his position. Lehmann was cleared of any wrongdoing in regards to the ball-tampering scandal, but his win at all costs culture was brought into question.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland resigned from his position earlier this month, he will remain with the organisation for a year or until a suitable replacement has been appointed.

Sacricketmag.com reported that Australia needs to win at least one of the remaining three ODIs against England in order to move past Pakistan in the rankings.

South Africa is currently ranked third, behind India and England.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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