Australia cricketer Peter Siddle hit out at former England fast-bowler Steve Harmison after the latter stated Steve Smith will forever be branded as a cheat despite his surreal performances on the field. Harmison was referring to the infamous ball-tampering scandal that saw Smith and David Warner banned from the game from 12 months and Cameron Bancroft suspended for nine months. Harmison believes that irrespective of what Smith achieved on the field, the cricketing world would always remember him as a cheat.

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“I don’t think you can forgive him. When you’re known as a cheat – and he is, I’m not going to sugar-coat it – that’s on your CV. You’re marked and you take it to the grave,” Harmison told talkSPORT.

“Whatever Steve Smith does, he’ll always be remembered for what happened in South Africa,” he further added.

“That’s something he’s got to live with. I can’t see anyone’s opinion changing on Smith, Bancroft, or Warner – because they’ve tarnished the game,” Harmison went on to add.

However, Siddle has now jumped into defense of Smith and lashed out at the former England fast-bowler. The Australia pacer also pointed towards a particular incident form the past to make his point.

“It’s more of a laugh than anything because we know some stories about what has gone on in the past,” Siddle told SEN SA Breakfast. “A couple of his teammates from back then put out books since the ‘05 Ashes and talked about sugar-coating the cricket ball to get reverse swing in that series.”

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“That’s the irony in all that, that he actually used the word sugar-coat, when two of his teammates have talked about mints and different things to put on the ball. It actually comes back on him.

“We’ll have the last laugh about that, and I think Steve Smith has definitely put those to rest and he’s just done his talking with the bat,” he added.

After making a comeback from the ban slapped on him due to the ball-tampering scandal, Smith has been in irrepressible form in the Ashes. He has amassed 671 runs and has become the second-fastest batsman to register 26 Test centuries.

First Published:
Sep 11, 2019 11:51 IST

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