Q&A with Sam Perry
Following the biggest sporting scandal in Australian cricket history, Laura Gale, sat down with ACT Cricket Senior Development Officer Sam Perry to talk about what this means for cricket in the ACT.
The Australian mens cricket team were involved in a ball tampering scandal during the test match against South Africa in Cape Town. The tampering was caught live on the big screen and has received high media attention since. Cameron Bancroft was caught scuffing the game ball with a piece of sandpaper and tried to hide the evidence shoving the sandpaper down his pants once his was informed it had been caught on camera.
The ball tampering scandal shook the cricketing world and the aftermath has been felt by fans all over the country. Sam Perry plays an important role in the development of young cricketers in the ACT, he talks about what this might mean for ACT juniors and if there has been a history of cheating amongst Canberra cricketers.
What’s your opinion on the ball tampering scandal?
It’s such a bad look for the game. Cricket Australia had to go into crisis mode as the players really put the game into disrepute. It would’ve been so hard for juniors watching everything unfold on the media, most of them wouldn’t have understood what was happening.
What do you believe should be their punishment?
It’s hard to answer that question, without the true story really coming out. I think the 12-month ban is probably the right call, although I thought it was pretty tough that the players got other contracts ripped up like their IPL contracts and other sponsorships walking out on them.
Have you ever experienced/witnessed a form of cheating as a cricket player yourself?
I haven’t in terms of ball tampering, but I’ve seen plenty of cases of cheating. Players have hit the ball up in the air to get out, other players will yell out before a catch so they drop the ball, even as little as talking while the batter comes in, it’s all still cheating one way or another. I haven’t seen it much though, it’s really rare to cheat in a game of cricket and not get caught.
Have you ever witnessed cheating of any kind in Canberra in your role at Cricket ACT?
Not so much with cheating, most teams I come across though do have someone in their side who is willing to do pretty much anything to win a game of cricket or to stand out and be the best. But no, I haven’t seen anything as degrading to cricket as ball tampering, it’s never gone that far.
Are you aware of any culture of cheating in the ACT maybe not so much with children, but in senior cricket?
Not so much in the higher grades of ACT cricket, but I know there’s definitely been cases of people distracting one another while their trying to play the game. Whether it be yelling for them to drop a catch or similar stuff like that, but not so much with senior players. You do come across it a bit more with kids and teenagers trying to prove themselves to development officers trying to get selected for different teams and programs.
Do you think more cheating might arise since this incident as this has become such a popular topic of discussion especially on the media?
I don’t know if it will actually appear more, but it is definitely in the back of people’s minds now. It’s definitely a possibility, as you saw on TV, Cameron Bancroft got caught on the big screen, I personally had never thought about doing something like that, but now automatically people are going to start thinking about it. Ball tampering is a hard one though because it can be such a small thing like putting your saliva on the ball, but it has such a huge effect on the game, and I definitely think more people might play with that.
You play a huge role in the development of young cricketers in NSW and the ACT, what would your advice be to those children that for the past few weeks have been seeing this scandal all over the news?
Just to try and stay away from it, it’s great being in the headlines for the right reasons playing cricket, but as we’ve seen three grown men break down and cry live on television, this is the bottom of their career and it’s not where you want to be. Their actions have definitely taken a toll on them, but of course this isn’t just affecting them, their families and friends will cop all of the backlash as well, they’ve damaged their reputations as well as their own.