Commonwealth Games to help restore Australian sport

Cameron Bancroft (AP)
Cameron Bancroft (AP)

Cape Town - Gold Coast Games chairperson Peter Beattie has stated that next week's Commonwealth Games will restore the reputation of Australian sport following the cricket ball-tampering scandal.

READ: Hit for six! Cricket's biggest scandals

Australian skipper Steve Smith and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft admitted to ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa at Newlands over the weekend.

Smith was subsequently banned for one Test and docked his entire match fee by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his role in the plot, with Bancroft receiving a 75 percent match fee.

The duo, as well as vice-captain David Warner, were sent home by Cricket Australia on Tuesday and are likely to face further punishment.

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was "shocked and bitterly disappointed" and added that authorities needed to crack down on sledging if it wanted cricket to "once again (be) held up as a role model".

READ: Trevor Chappell no longer the most hated man in cricket

Beattie on Tuesday claimed that the Gold Coast Games, which takes place in the state of Queensland, can repair the damage done by the Australian cricket team.

"The bottom line is that Australian cricket has damaged Australia's sporting reputation and now the Commonwealth Games will restore that faith," he said, as quoted by the Gold Coast Bulletin.

"We are determined to be a cheat-free zone. At the end of the day, these sporting heroes get paid a lot of money and behaviour on and off the field is really important.

"It is about setting a standard and setting an example, it's about inspiring another generation, not the selfish cricketers.

"That's what has disappointed most Australians; however the Commonwealth Games will help restore our reputation."

The Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast will run from April 4-15.

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