LONDON. — Australia face some “large hurdles” in getting over the ball-tampering cricket scandal which “shocked and hurt” a nation but “it will be business as usual once the heat gets turned up”, says Adam Gilchrist.
The Baggy Greens return to international action for the first time since the controversy against South Africa in March when they start a five-match one-day series against England at The Oval today, looking to rebuild their battered reputation.
Captain Steve Smith and batsman David Warner were banned for 12 months and Cameron Bancroft for nine months after they carried out a plan to ball tamper against the Proteas, while coach Darren Lehmann left his post after the 2-1 defeat in the fiery Test series.
Justin Langer has replaced Lehmann and Paine has taken over from Smith as skipper.
Former wicketkeeper-batsman Gilchrist, who will be working for Test Match Special during the series against England, believes Langer’s appointment “is very appropriate to try to take these challenging steps ahead”. “The England series is the first step on a journey that everyone seems to be acknowledging will take some time to rebuild complete trust and faith in everything that has gone on,” he told BBC Sport.
“There is no doubt that the players that were held responsible for what took place not being there allows the team to start that journey.
“This team will face some large hurdles over the course of the next 12 months, not just in rebuilding trust and confidence with the public supporting them, but in regards to missing a significant amount of first pick players.
“That is going to present an awful lot of challenges.”
Gilchrist took the game to new levels with his destructive batting style and was part of three Ashes series wins and three World Cup victories during a 12-year career that started in 1996.
He played with former Australia opener and “dear friend” Langer, in a team which included the likes of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, who were notorious for sledging opponents. — BBC Sport.