‘We are always reminded that we have cheated’: Jones attacks
Dean Jones says Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith's interviews nine-months on from the ball-tampering fiasco in Cape Town were "almost as bad" as the foreign object used against South Africa which led to their bans.
"These interviews are almost as bad as the fine grade of sandpaper the players used to scratch the ball," Jones wrote in a Fairfax column.
In doing so, Jones became the latest in a number of past greats, including Michael Slater and Ricky Ponting, to lash their interviews on day one of the Boxing Day Test which threw the ball-tampering architect, David Warner, "under the bus".
"What were they thinking? Who advised Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft to do those interviews with Fox Cricket? All this has done is add more fuel to a fire that the majority of the public don't really want to hear about anymore," Jones said.
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While it had long been known that Warner was at the heart of the issues at Newlands in late March, Bancroft set the record straight that it was indeed his experienced opening partner that had asked him to carry out the deed of using sandpaper to scruff up the ball.
Bancroft's interview came just days before completing his nine-month ban for ball-tampering, and just hours before Smith's own sit down interview with Fox Sports went to air. All the while Warner has remained silent on the issue since his contrite press conference on March 30.
Bancroft is expected to be immediately recalled to the Perth Scorchers' line-up for their Big Bash clash against the Hurricanes in Hobart on Sunday. However, Smith - who turned a blind eye in the dressing sheds when the plan was being devised - and Warner won't be eligible for selection in Australian professional cricket until March 28.
There have been varied reports on whether Warner will have his own sit down interview.
Australian Cricketers' Association boss Alastair Nicholson confirmed on Friday morning that he had made contact with Warner after the interviews both aired and believed the opener was intent on keeping out of the spotlight.
But Jones said that he had heard Warner was "furious" after the interviews and is now considering responding to Bancroft's comments.
Jones, who averaged 46 in Test cricket and is considered one of Australia's greatest one day batsmen, added that Bancroft and Smith's interviews undid the hard work done by the new leadership team of coach Justin Langer and captain Tim Paine to repair the team's image.
"Why am I so upset with these interviews? Everywhere Australian players go around the world, we are always reminded that we have cheated. It feels like we have a huge tattoo on our foreheads that we cannot erase. These three boys were old enough to make the right decisions. Sadly, they have to pay for their consequences, as do we."