David Saker, Steve Smith Australia cricket team
David Saker (left) and Steve Smith (AFP Photo)

Former Australia bowling coach David Saker has termed the Newlands ball-tampering as a ‘devastating’ event while adding there was no acceptance of cheating in the team culture.

Saker resigned in February this year, months before the ICC World Cup and Ashes leaving Australia without a bowling coach. Over a month later, Cricket Australia named Adam Griffith as bowling coach for the World Cup while Troy Cooley would take charge for the Ashes in the same capacity.

“You’re sort of looking at yourself, saying ‘what could have I done to make sure that didn’t happen?’ It was really devastating, not just for me but for everyone involved. I’m sure that for a while there it affected the way I was around the group but I’ve moved on from that,” Saker was quoted as saying by The Age on Wednesday.

He added, “We’ve never ever condoned any sort of cheating. Obviously teams throw the ball into the ground, most teams do that. That’s pretty much the way you go about it.”

Saker said that his decision to step down was because of him losing passion and taking a time out to refresh and reflect on what had happened.

“Under Boof [Darren Lehmann] particularly we won an Ashes and had some really good series wins, so that was good. There were obviously some frustrating times after South Africa. New coach came in, things changed quite a bit and I probably wasn’t as passionate as I was before that,” Saker said.

“On reflection it’s probably a good thing that I got out, just refreshed myself. As I said, I’m ready to go again. I enjoyed my time with the Australian cricket team but I think it was time for me to move on,” he said.

Saker has backed the Australia to retain the Ashes urn in England on the back of the quality options they have in the bowling department.

However, feels the Australian bowler will have to be smart “They’ve just got to be smart. Over there it’s not all about air speed, it’s about making sure you bowl the ball in the right areas. It’ll be a tough job for the selectors, but the beauty of it is they’ve got five or six fast bowlers, and the world’s best off-spinner, so they’re pretty well-placed to win the Ashes,” he said.