Trevor Bayliss    Getty Images
Trevor Bayliss Getty Images

Steve Waugh on Wednesday said the country’s embattled cricket team had “failed our culture” after opting to cheat, as England coach Trevor Bayliss admitted he was embarrassed to be Australian. Current skipper Steven Smith, his deputy David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft have been ordered home from South Africa in disgrace after a ball-tampering scandal. Cricket Australia has announced an independent review into “the conduct and culture” of the team.

Condemnation of the players’ actions has been widespread in Australia, where the role of national cricket captain is widely seen as the second most important job in the country behind prime minister. Bayliss, in New Zealand with the England team, said he had been stunned by what went on, particularly the involvement of Smith, who he mentored when they were both with New South Wales. “Steve is a lovely young bloke who has made a terrible mistake,” he told the BBC.

“I’m obviously disappointed, and as an Australian I’m embarrassed.” Bayliss, who oversaw England’s recent 4-0 Ashes defeat in Australia, put the scathing response down to the way Australia has played their cricket in recent years.”It’s almost like teams and people around the world have been waiting for them to stuff up so they can lay the boot in,” he said.

“It’s one of those things that continually, over a period of time, builds and builds and unfortunately on this occasion it’s gone too far.” Australian coach Darren Lehmann escaped reprimand by Cricket Australia and will remain in charge, and no other players were implicated.

But former Test captain Michael Clarke believes there is more to the story than meets the eye.


“Too many reputations on the line for the full story not to come out. Cape Town change room is a very small place!” he tweeted.