Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff believes ace batsman Steve Smith was made the scapegoat of the ball-tampering scandal which tainted the image of Australian cricket. Flintoff believes the entire Australian team was at fault and was involved in the ball-tampering saga which happened during the Cape Town Test against South Africa in 2018. Flintoff believes Smith 'took the entire blame' to save the Australian cricket team. <p></p> <p></p>The former Australia captain - Smith faced suspension for a year for his involvement in the controversy. Other than Smith, openers - David Warner and Cameron Bancroft also faced bans for their involvement in the sandpaper-gate during a Test match against South Africa in Cape Town. <p></p> <p></p>"I can't believe that the whole team isn't in on it. As a bowler, if someone gives me a ball that's been tampered with, I know initially. One of the things that Steve Smith did is take the blame for everyone else," Flintoff told Talksport. <p></p> <p></p>"Things like ball-tampering have gone on for a long, long time and I think it's just the degrees where you take it. We were accused of putting sweets on the ball. People put suncream on it, tried everything they can." <p></p> <p></p>Smith was also banned from taking any leadership roles for two years - a suspension that has now expired. The England legend said it is difficult to believe that others in the team did not have a clue about what was going on. <p></p> <p></p>"Sandpaper is wrong, but it's stupid more than anything. But I can't believe that everyone in the team wasn't involved in some way or another," said Flintoff, who took 400 wickets and scored over 7000 runs in his career. <p></p> <p></p>Flintoff, who retired from the longer format after the 2009 Ashes, said he would give up everything to play one more Test for England. <p></p> <p></p>"It's getting easier as I'm 42 and don't think I should be playing cricket now, but when I finished at 31, I couldn't go anywhere near it, I just wanted to be a cricketer. Still now I would swap everything I do to play one more Test match and wear that England badge at Old Trafford one more time. <p></p> <p></p>"It's only when it's finished that you think I should have cherished it more. When it's gone it's so hard."