New Sussex coach Gillespie has his say on Australia ball-tampering controversy

Jason Gillespie
Jason Gillespie

New Sussex head coach Jason Gillespie said he is 'shocked and stunned' by the Australia ball-tampering controversy.

Australian captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have resigned in the middle of the Third Test match against South Africa over the ball-tampering scandal which has rocked world cricket.

Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera pulling tape from his pocket and rubbing it on the ball on day three of the third Test against South Africa Saturday. He was then question by the umpires Richard Illingworth and Nigel Long.

Then at the end of the day's play Smith and Bancroift held a press conference where Smith revealed that the idea of tampering with the ball was first raised at lunch Saturday and concocted by an unnamed 'leadership group'. He said coach Darren Lehmann and the other coaching staff were not aware of the plan.

The scandal caused outrage in Australia and prompted widespread calls for a full investigation from fans, former players, official sporting bodies and senior politicians including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Speaking to Dominic Cork on Sky Sports, Gillespie said: "It's still bit of a shock to perfectly honest. The footage is pretty damning and conclusive. My overriding emotion is shock and real disappointment. The decision made to go down this path are clearly the wrong thing, you just wonder what the mindset of the people involved to decide t hat was the plan ahead. It was a bit crazy really."

And Gillespie wants to 'leadership group' Smith referred to to be identified. He said: ""I think we need a bit of clarity on what this leadership group is and who exactly is in this leadership group. Steve Smith has mentioned it in the press conference 'the leadership group were aware and made this decision' what we are hearing there are at least one senior player who is absolutely mortified that they have been drawn into this.

"I think what we need to establish is who is the leadership group. You would think the leadership group would comprise of the captain, the vice-captain and the coach I suppose."

"I think we are all very much stunned and shocked and tellingly all very saddened by what we have all seen and heard.''

And Gillespie added doesn;t think Smith realised the gravity of what he said in the press conferencne: "I think what we saw with the Steve Smith conference is appeared to me he probably didn't quite grasp the gravity of the situation.

"It's an admission of a preconceived plan to cheat our sport and an admission of 'yes we tried to take make an advantage by doing the wrong thing and we still made that conscious to go down that path' and I think that's the most telling in this sorry state of affairs. It's incredibly, incredibly disappointing.

"It's hard to see how Steve Smith can continue as captain of Australia, it's hard to see David Warner continue as vice-captain and until we hear from Darren Lehman we won't know anymore.

"It's hard to imagine that there isn't going to be a fallout, a big fallout and a big change in personnel. And it appears from reading all the media reports that there's going to be some big changes on and off the field.

"Australia Cricket is hurting at the moment and world cricket is hurting."

Gillespie will finally arrive at Sussex this weekend
Former England coach Halsall appointed Academy Director at Sussex