New Delhi: Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were the three individuals who were suspended for the ball-tampering scandal which put Australian cricket in crisis during the Newlands Test against South Africa. Smith and Warner were banned for one year while Bancroft was banned for nine months for their role in the scandal. Even Cricket Australia were hit hard by the scandal, with an independent Ethics Committee lashing out at the Australian Cricket Board’s culture of winning at all costs which resulted in the scandal. Now, in a recent chat with former Australia cricketer Adam Gilchrist, Smith, who was the captain of the side when the scandal erupted, has used the same factor to lash out at Cricket Australia.“I remember James Sutherland and Pat Howard coming into the rooms there and actually saying ‘We don’t pay you to play, we pay you to win’. So, for me, that was I think a little bit disappointing to say. We don’t go out there to try and lose games of cricket, we go out there to try and win and play the best way we can,” Smith said. The right-handed batsman gave a bit of a background to the quote. Australia had suffered an innings loss in Hobart against South Africa and it was their fifth straight loss at home. The defeat resulted in plenty of changes in the Australian cricket team.Read More | Bancroft says Warner encouraged him to tamper with the ballSutherland resigned from his position as CA chief executive after the incident, team performance head Howard was sacked last month after review by an independent committee. In fact, Howard was one of CA’s investigation team members that questioned Smith and other players in the aftermath of the scandal. However, Smith believes that the team culture was not bad. “If you’re talking about cultures and stuff, you only have to look back a couple of months before South Africa and we won an Ashes series here in Australia 4-0 and people are saying the culture’s really good and everything’s good. Things can change really quickly. Obviously events that happened in Cape Town make people say that the culture was really bad. People will have their own opinions on that,” he added.Read More | Mitchell Marsh booed by Melbourne crowd in Boxing Day Test vs IndiaBefore Smith, Cameron Bancroft had given an interview to Gilchrist in which he blamed Warner for the incident but also directed most of the blame at himself. “Dave (Warner) suggested to me to carry the action out on the ball given the situation we were in the game and I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know any better because I just wanted to fit in and feel valued really,” Bancroft said.However, Bancroft admitted that he was guided by his own distorted values in making the horrendous decision. “The decision was based around my values, what I valued at the time and I valued fitting in? You hope that fitting in earns you respect and with that, I guess, there came a pretty big cost for the mistake.”Shocked at interviewsRicky Ponting, the former Australia skipper, has expressed shock at the interviews and said more eyebrows will be raised on the ball-tampering scandal. Ponting said that most of the players had moved on from the scandal and these serve as unwanted reactions.“Now that those stories are out there, it’s going to be interesting to see what the reaction is tomorrow in newspapers and news channels. There’s enough in those stories to raise a few eyebrows,” Ponting told Cricket Australia’s official website.Darren Lehmann, the coach of the Australia cricket team who also resigned in tears following the scandal, has said Smith should have had more control. In an interview to Macquire Sports Radio, Lehmann said Bancroft should have approached them in this situation. “Steve decided to turn a blind eye. He was captain of the country and he should have more control of that. Yeah, he (Bancroft) could have and should have come to us,” Lehmann rued.Out of all the players involved, only David Warner has not responded. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
CHAMPION SONGBIRD IS STILL ‘PERFECT’ AFTER OAKS ROMPKENTUCKY AWAITS SANTA ANITA DERBY KING EXAGGERATORD’AMATO HONORED TO WIN HIS FIRST-EVER TRAINING CROWN John Sadler9614111115%38%$907,814 Jeff Bonde4575716%42%$201,895 FINISH LINES: Trainer Richard Baltas, who saddled Mokat to a runner-up finish behind Songbird in the Santa Anita Oaks: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Songbird is a champion. We ran into a horse that’s a true champion, it’s that simple. There aren’t many like her, and you can say the same the same thing about Nyquist. “We’re in a year where we have two juvenile champions and they’re both going into the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby undefeated. It’s very exciting. Mokat ran her race and we’re very happy running second to Songbird. Flavien (Prat) said she wasn’t really handling the track, so if she comes back good, we’ll try Songbird one more time in the Kentucky Oaks.” . . .Congrats to Peruvian sensation Rafael Bejarano, who entered today’s card with 74 wins, enabling him to win his fourth consecutive Winter Meet riding title and his seventh overall. Along with his seven Golden Whip Awards, Bejarano, dating back to 2007, now has a staggering 24 Southern California riding titles to his credit . . . Phil D’Amato, on winning his first-ever training title: “It’s an honor, and I have to give a lot of the credit to my owners and my crew. Without the horses, I couldn’t do this. I have a great bunch of hard-working members of my staff, from my assistants down to my grooms. Everything’s jelled and they get just as much credit for the success as I do.” . . . Congrats to Jesus Camacho on winning the Men’s Division of Santa Anita’s 5K Derby Day run Saturday in the time of 21:09 over runner-up Aaron Galvan, and Lulu Joko in 29.09 over Christine Beer in the Women’s Division . . . Santa Anita’s 63-day Winter Meet ends today. Live racing returns to The Great Race Place May 5 and runs through July 10. Mark Glatt10711121010%31%$525,575 Doug O’Neill20534302617%44%$1,645,662 Jerry Hollendorfer15825161816%37%$2,008,048 Agapito Delgadillo10814121113%34%$406,157 Flavien Prat28750544417%52%$3,106,466 Victor Espinoza10312131012%34%$969,825 Philip D’Amato16639252723%55%$2,068,665 Martin Garcia14421161715%38%$1,236,631 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Mike Puype881013611%33%$457,975 Martin Pedroza12618141114%34%$551,565 Steven Miyadi7913171116%52%$456,427 Carla Gaines5586315%31%$654,045 (Current Through Saturday, April 9) Jeff Mullins37109427%62%$295,039 Michael Machowsky4488518%48%$322,731 SONGBIRD CONTINUES TO FLY ABOVE THE REST Superstar filly Songbird, who soars over her prey like a raptor, won her seventh straight race with consummate ease Saturday, taking the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks by 3 ¾ lengths, leading throughout the 1 1/16-mile race as is her wont despite breaking from the rail and running over a sloppy track.Now, it’s on to Kentucky for the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms for her next major goal, the $1 million Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 6.“Songbird came out of the race in perfect order,” Jerry Hollendorfer said on an overcast but rain-free Sunday morning at Santa Anita, where it was business as usual for the Hall of Fame trainer, assistant Dan Ward, and their team, despite the fact that the main track was closed for training for the second straight morning due to a spate of rain that had begun early Thursday morning but abated to typical Southern California status Sunday, sunshine and all.“She seems very good this morning,” Hollendorfer went on. “We have to wait to make shipping plans because there will be a lot of horses going back and forth at that time (for the Kentucky Derby May 7 and the Oaks).“We’ll try and make the most advantageous arrangements. Songbird will stay here and likely have her last work at Santa Anita before the Oaks and then ship.”Many in yesterday’s on-track crowd of 27,821, obviously diminished due to rainy weather that resulted in a “sloppy” but sealed main track throughout the 12-race program, came to see Songbird, who is joining Zenyatta, California Chrome and American Pharoah as recent fan magnets in a game that welcomes them like a bettor treasures a Pick Six score.“She has a pretty good fan base,” Hollendorfer said of last year’s Eclipse Award winner as champion two-year-old filly who has won her races by an average margin of more than five lengths. “We’re very pleased about that.“A lot of the horses from California are doing pretty good right now, so we’ll see what happens in Kentucky.” David Lopez19025172413%35%$812,121 Gary Stevens7212131417%54%$1,914,058 Santiago Gonzalez26947343317%42%$1,898,601 Vladimir Cerin5397817%45%$365,974 Tiago Pereira138816136%27%$585,478 Alonso Quinonez9971167%24%$357,880 Art Sherman4272417%31%$354,700 Richard Baltas13322221617%45%$1,531,054 Hector Palma4775615%38%$193,462 Joseph Talamo26833283212%35%$2,260,638 Fernando Perez20020222610%34%$1,130,302 -30- Drayden Van Dyke18419183010%36%$1,152,987 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won J. Keith Desormeaux531071019%51%$1,046,919 Brice Blanc7077910%33%$584,555 Rafael Bejarano31274583524%54%$3,506,841 George Papaprodromou6297815%39%$322,710 Tyler Baze30434484811%43%$1,779,991 Kristin Mulhall56138423%45%$471,190 Ron Ellis39103626%49%$267,555 Bob Baffert11223191921%54%$1,897,075 Mike Smith1041391813%38%$1,984,165 Peter Miller14922152215%40%$892,030 William Spawr44107623%52%$294,612 Robertino Diodoro3478321%53%$210,390 ON TO KENTUCKY FOR BROTHERS DESORMEAUXJohn Keith Desormeaux and Kent Desormeaux are down home guys from Louisiana, far removed from Philadelphia, the so-called City of Brotherly Love, but if the brothers make it to Kentucky with Exaggerator on May 7, everything will be, um, relative, when they take on the likes of champion Nyquist and 18 others in the 142nd Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs.Trainer Keith was realistic bordering on ecstatic this morning discussing Exaggerator’s 6 ¼-length triumph in the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby Saturday, earning the son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.“Here’s a news flash,” Keith said by phone after attending church, a Sunday ritual: “Everything looks good this morning. I said after he was third in the San Felipe that maybe the reasons he didn’t finish were that maybe he was a miler, maybe it was one of those crazy bounce theories, but not now.“I think his impressive win can be attributed to a combination of several things: his fitness, his pedigree, but most of all, his demeanor before the race. He’s never been a fidgety horse, but yesterday before the race he was calm and never turned a hair.”Kent, at 46 three years younger than Keith, enjoyed a banner day, winning two other stakes, the Grade III Providencia on Decked Out trained by Keith and the Grade III Thunder Road on What a View, conditioned by Kenny Black.Overall, horses Kent rode Saturday earned $759,910, boosting his meet total to $2,512,694.Said Keith said of his kid brother, a member of racing’s Hall of Fame and a three-time winner of the Run for the Roses, with Real Quiet (1998), Fusaichi Pegasus (2000) and Big Brown (2008): “He just keeps coming back.”In other post-Santa Anita Derby news:Trainer Cliff Sise Jr. said Danzing Candy came out of his fourth-place finish after leading past the three-quarter mark in the 1 1/8-mile race in good order but had “no plans” on what might be next for the San Felipe Stakes winner.Trainer Gary Sherlock had no word the next race for Uncle Lino, who outran his odds in the Santa Anita Derby by finishing third at 26-1, other than “he won’t run in the Kentucky Derby.”Sise called Exaggerator’s powerful rush from next to last after a half mile to a runaway victory in the Santa Anita Derby “an Arazi-type move.”Meanwhile, in the What-Have-You-Done-For-Me-Lately Department, Brian Beach, agent for Victor Espinoza, winner of five of the last six Triple Crown races who was seventh, beaten 37 ½ lengths on Smokey Image in the Santa Anita Derby, said his rider is “now officially open in the Kentucky Derby.” Brayan Pena8075149%33%$217,625 Stewart Elliott544647%26%$221,231 Peter Eurton10416251415%53%$1,254,397 Kent Desormeaux15126282317%51%$2,512,694 Abel Lezcano969759%22%$624,144 Edwin Maldonado21244222221%42%$1,427,680 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Mario Gutierrez18821342511%43%$1,320,514