Ex-Aussie skipper Kim Hughes has blasted Steve Smith's 'useless' punishment

FORMER Australian Test captain Hughes, 64, slammed the ICC for their "useless" punishment of Smith while saying he should never captain the country again. He roared: "Cricket is our national game, the Baggy Green is an icon and the spirit that Australians stand for. "The last thing you would want to be called is a cheat. That is what we were. It was absolutely disgraceful." When quizzed as to whether Smith would ever captain Australia again, Hughes added: "No, not on your nelly, God, no. "There have only been 43 or 44 men that have done it and you can't accept someone with those standards." Hughes continued his incredible rant, going on to  blast the ICC for the pathetic punishment imposed on Smith, saying: "It sums up the ICC. "A one Test match ban and all of his salary? It's useless fining men in professional sport that earn obscene amounts of money. "What you need to do is ban them for six or 12 months, take away sponsors and that type of thing. "Now when an Australian stands up and talks from the pulpit, people will say 'hang on mate, you guys are cheats as well, you had your captain cheating'."This was a pre-meditated tactic by the captain and whomever and it is a dark day for Australia."

Now Zotani Oscar has rocked cricket after filming Cameron Bancroft's cheating

But dapper Oscar, who caught the scandal unfolding from behind the lens, says fans used to make fun of him for his dress sense before growing to love it. And he has revealed his bizarre tradition of getting suited and booted on the boundary came about purely by chance. Oscar, who works for a South African TV channel, said: "In the season of 2007-08, when New Zealand was here [in South Africa], it happened that one of the cameramen got sick, while I was still working in the studio.
Oscar explained: "I actually feel more comfortable wearing a suit rather than having to expose my skin to the sun. "People started laughing at me but now it actually excites them. I usually get good compliments from the commentators." A former South Africa cricketer said the cheating would not have been discovered were it not for the cameramen following the players' every move intently for 90 minutes.


Steve Smith could be banned for a YEAR for his part in the Australian ball-tampering scandal

Cricket Australia began their probe after Smith confessed he was aware Oz team-mate Cameron Bancroft intentionally scuffed up the ball in the Third Test in South Africa. Smith, who stood down from leading the side in Cape Town after the explosive revelations, is expected to be permanently sacked as skipper. He has been banned by the ICC from the Fourth Test in Johannesburg, which starts  on Fri Aussie cricket chiefs are under pressure to hand down severe punishments to Smith and his vice-captain David Warner — and suspensions of up to 12 months could now follow. Verdicts are likely to be handed down within the next 24 hours.

Is this ball-tampering shame the death of Australian cricket?

Nearly 136 years since The Sporting Times declared the death of English cricket, after England lost their first Test match to Australia, it's finally happened to the old enemy. The British newspaper published that article on August 28, 1882, with the bails from that humiliation burned-down to ashes and placed in a tiny urn. That urn, that symbol mourning the death of English cricket, has lived on ever since - through 70 hard-fought Ashes series. But finally, after well over a century, it appears Australian cricket has suffered its own untimely, unexpected death - and the nation has been left in a state of mourning. The cricketing world imploded, with players past and present stunned, angry, disappointed... Now even their own media, much like Britain's way back in 1882, have turned on them.


Australia in mourning after cricket cheats bring shame on national sport

The Aussie press plastered the shame across their front pages on Sunday as a further video emerged of Bancroft hiding sugar in his pocket against England in January. And while the cricket world is up in arms over the incident, it seems to be getting to the journalists Down Under, too. A video emerged of reporters almost coming to blows after a Cricket Australia press conference. Two local journalists ended up pushing each other after getting into a heated argument. Reporters were forced to jump in and separate the pair before the violence escalated. Smith has been banned for one Test match and fined as Cricket Australia launches its own investigation.The circus surrounding the Aussie national team rumbles on with Smith and Bancroft booed by South Africa fans on Sunday.


Pietersen turned the series on its head as he scored 186 to help England take a vital first-innings lead

England’s tour to India in 2012 was a historic one. They won a series in India after 28 years and that too after being 1-0 down.After getting a thrashing at India's hands in Ahmedabad, where the spinners were all over England, the visitors kept the hosts down to just 327. England started well but two quick wickets pushed them on the backfoot. They were 68/2 and with Pragyan Ojha picking up both wickets, it seemed like the English team would crumble against spin once again.

Pietersen didn't get any support from the other end as England fell short by 7 runs

In 2005, England were battling hard to keep the 7-match ODI series alive against South Africa. After winning the first game and tying the second, England lost back-to-back games to be 2-1 down after four games.In the 5th ODI, South Africa won the toss and opted to bat first. They posted a big total of 311. Graeme Smith scored a hundred (115) and Justin Kemp scored 80, while others chipped in with some useful contributions. Chasing anything over 300 was never going to be easy, but England were up for the fight.However, Pietersen continued from his end even though wickets kept falling at regular intervals on the other end. He took the attack to the South African bowlers and scored a scintillating 100 off just 69 balls. His innings comprised of 7 fours and 4 sixes.However, the South African-born didn’t find any support from the other end and his brilliant knock went in vain as England lost by 7 runs, trailing 1-3 in the series.Pietersen scored 158 and denied Australia a shot at victory as the game ended in a draw. 

Pietersen single-handedly took England home

In 2012, England were whitewashed by Pakistan in the 3-Test match series. However, in the ODI series, England came back storming and won the first three ODIs.In the fourth ODI, Pakistan won the toss and batted first. A disciplined effort from England bowlers, kept the hosts down to 237. Chasing a tricky total, Pietersen opened the batting and lost his partner Alastair Cook on the second ball of the innings. The visitors were further reduced to 68/4 in the 16th over.However, Pietersen controlled the innings superbly and scored 130 off 153 balls. He struck 12 fours and 2 sixes in his innings. He single-handedly took England home and helped the visitors to a 4-0 series win over Pakistan. 

Kevin Pietersen was brilliant in the World T20 in 2010

A lot of people might argue that Kevin Pietersen has played better T20I knocks in his career, but the significance of this 47-run innings was huge.England had never won an ICC tournament. They had reached three World Cup finals and a Champions Trophy final but failed to win any of them. In the 2010 World T20, England started off with a loss to the West Indies but gained momentum towards the end of the tournament.However, Pietersen strode out to the middle and stroked a brilliant 47 off 31 deliveries to ease off the pressure. He gave good company to Craig Kieswetter (who top-scored with 63) as they shared a 111-run partnership for the second wicket. Pietersen’s 47 comprised of 4 fours and a six as he helped England lift their first-ever ICC title. He was also named the Man of the Tournament for his consistent performances. 


Kevin Pietersen had a swagger, which he carried both on and off the field

Kevin Pietersen's (commonly known as KP) career was full of controversies, but, he will go down as one of the greatest England players of the 21st century. He had a swagger, which he carried both on and off the field.
The South African-born player made his debut for England in 2004 in an ODI against Zimbabwe. But it was the 2005 Ashes series that proved to be the launch pad for Pietersen’s career. Pietersen was a player, who was in the opposition’s face all the time. He was one England batsman, bowlers hated bowling at.