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Cricket ball-tampering disease in all of us

By Spencer Gear - posted Friday, 13 April 2018


Steve Smith, Dave Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been banned from first-class cricket for ball-tampering in the fourth test in South Africa, 22-26 March 2018.

Why did they do it? Smith admitted, "We spoke about it and thought it was a possible way to get an advantage … poor choice and, yeah, we're deeply regrettable". Bancroft admitted, 'I saw an opportunity to potentially use some tape and get some granules from the rough patches of the wicket and try to change the ball condition'.

It is easy to pass this off as a violation of cricket's rules and not being in 'the spirit of the game'. Also, there have been other ball-tampering incidents with less punishment than for Smith, Warner and Bancroft.

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The bigger problem

I have not read the mainstream media's diagnosis of what I consider is the greater infection. It runs through many sports. Rugby league uses the sin bin, as do rugby union, basketball, ice hockey, soccer and other sports. A player is sent off the playing field for a time, after breaking rules of the game that are not serious enough to deserve expulsion.

There's a bigger problem that many journalists will avoid describing because it comes from a Christian worldview. Could you imagine this headline?

We are all infected with the ball-tampering virus

This would not be a theme in the mass media's diagnosis of the cricket crisis as it is an analysis from a Judeo-Christian worldview – and that's too religious for worldly-wise readers.

The prophet Jeremiah blamed the inside of all individuals for the problems we see in society: 'The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?' So, the headline should be: 'A deceitful heart is real problem for Australian cricketers'. Proverbs 4:23 nails the reason for the crisis not only for cricket, 'Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it'.

It is a major problem for the whole human race. Not one person is exempt from the ball-tampering 'virus'.

We see it openly in the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin and Mao's genocides, terrorism and mass shootings around the world, lies, bullying, theft and adultery. It runs through every human being from infancy to old age.

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The cricketers need consequences BUT….

I urge you not to single out the banned Australian cricketers for their deceitful actions. The core problem is devastating for all human beings. The Aussie cricketers provide one more visible example of this evil heart.

This predicament of what is behind ball-tampering runs through us and it springs from the heart. The prophet Jeremiah and the wise man of Proverbs dealt with.…

The heart of the matter

The source of all human difficulties is the total inner being of a person, including reasoning and the will. It's a comprehensive internal wickedness (depravity) that is the root problem. The heart is more corrupt and incurable – from a human perspective.

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About the Author

Spencer Gear PhD is a retired counselling manager, independent researcher, Christian minister and freelance writer living in Brisbane Qld.

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