Australian ‘Rebel’ Hughes Calls for Smith to be Sacked

Cape Town – Former Australian captain Kim Hughes says Steve Smith should never be allowed to captain the country again.

This comes after Australia admitted to ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa at Newlands over the weekend.

Smith admitted that he was responsible for the scandal that has rocked Australian cricket, after television footage showed opener Cameron Bancroft take an object out of his pocket during the post-lunch session on Saturday’s Day 3 and rub it on the ball.

Hughes, who captained Australia on their infamous “rebel” tours to South Africa in the 1985/86 and 1986/87 seasons, commented on the matter on talkSport’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show.

“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,” Hughes said.

Smith was suspended by the ICC for the final Test starting at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday, but could face more severe punishment from Cricket Australia.

Asked whether he felt Smith should captain Australia again, Hughes replied: “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 also hit out of the ICC’s punishment of Smith, adding: “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.”

South Africa won the third Test by 322 runs and will take a 2-1 series lead heading into the final Test.