AB de Villiers has finally spoken on the ball-tempering incident that led to ban on three Australian cricketers, including the former Australian captain Steve Smith. AB, while speaking to The Guardian, said that he feels sorry for the Australian cricket and specially Steve Smith.
AB de Villiers, who is playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2018, said that punishment given to Steve Smith was too harsh and the matter was blown up massively.
“It was blown up massively. Yes it is a serious matter but it was taken to a level where it really hurt them individually and I felt sorry for them. Especially Smith, who stood up thinking he was doing the right thing by his players. The way he was punished was harsh,” AB de Villiers said in an interview to The Guardian.
AB also added that “Wrong is wrong” and cricketers must respect and follow the laws of the game.
“Wrong is wrong. Guys try to find a way to get the ball to reverse but you have to stay in the laws. Sandpaper? Sheesh, I don’t know. I have it in my bag but that’s for cleaning my bat.”
Talking about this series, AB de Villiers said that it was a very rough Test series but also the best he has been a part of.
“It was rough. But it was the best series I have been a part of. There were scandals that weren’t called for but cricket-wise, the way we dominated was, well, I haven’t been part of a team that has done that to them.”
“It was seriously tough cricket but that’s how Tests should be played. There was all this talk about ‘the line’ and you don’t want to get too personal. But letting a player know there is a series on the line and he is about to lose it for his country, that is part of the game. That’s what we did.”
“I felt they got quite personal. Although we had an instance in Durban where one of our players [De Kock] did too … that’s a long story. But overall, I loved the toughness of the cricket played. It’s just the rest that was uncalled for,” said De Villiers.