Opinion: Integrity is hit for six

Former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith at his emotional press conference.
Former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith at his emotional press conference.

Oh dear oh dear, who would ever have thought we would see a tough Australian blubbing on our TV screens like an overgrown schoolboy after being caught out in a misdemeanour?

In my day we were taught that playing any game of sport was good and character building, but it was also about 
being a good loser as well as trying one’s best to achieve the best results.

Top sportsmen and women were proud if asked to represent their country and were proud to do so, but always with honour and pride in playing a fair game.

Sadly we now see the top sportspeople in any discipline being revered like heroes and paid enormous sums of money for doing what they love. Cheating in any form would have been looked upon with disdain and the 
perpetrator run out of the game.

The Australian cricket team have always been highly competitive but this recent episode of blatant cheating, an attempt to increase their results by any means fair or foul, is frankly disgusting. And there is even a reluctance once caught out to accept it for what it is. We hear the main two perpetrators saying they have made a mistake, or have made an error of judgement!

No guys, you have been caught blatantly cheating in the most obvious way, the warped thinking behind it is exactly the same as those athletes who have attempted to win by taking performance-enhancing drugs and has brought nothing but shame on your country and yourselves.

The greatest difference today is the amount of money and prestige behind sporting events, something never contemplated in days gone by, the money aspect anyway.

Putin in Russia was hoping for prestige and kudos from staging the World Cup, I suspect recent events have blown that!

In the meantime these silly young men have probably ruined their careers (and lost a lot of money) and brought nothing but shame on their country.

Let’s hope all sports people think long and hard now about the consequences of not playing with integrity and for the love of the sport 
rather than being prepared to take any means just to 
win.