Cape Town - Former Proteas fast bowler Makhaya Ntini believes the International Cricket Council (ICC) has erred with its decision to slap Australian captain Steve Smith with only a one-Test ban.
This comes after the Australians admitted to ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa at Newlands over the weekend.
Smith admitted that he was responsible for the scandal that has rocked Australian cricket, after television footage showed opener Cameron Bancroft take an object out of his pocket during the post-lunch session on Saturday's Day 3 and rub it on the ball.
Smith was suspended by the ICC for the final Test starting at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Friday, but could face more severe punishment from Cricket Australia.
In an interview with Cape Talk Radio on Monday, Ntini said: “How did that happen? Both teams are big teams, there’s no need for one team to be bigger by tampering with the ball. It’s out of law, no good, it’s wrong!”
When probed whether the ICC was lenient with its punishment, the former fast bowler replied:
“If you remember when the late Hansie Cronje, when we were playing in Sharjah against India, there was a similar situation where he stood on the ball with his studs and it was a big saga.
“Then you come back to South Africa, (Kagiso) Rabada brushing the shoulder of the same person (Smith) and gets banned for two games. Smith tampers with the ball and gets only a one-game ban, what is that? It’s absolutely wrong.”
Ntini called on the ICC to take a firmer stance on the matter.
“Whatever happens after this, whatever country gets caught out doing the same thing (in future), they (the ICC) can never punish that person more than what they have done to the Australian guy. So they need to be very, very careful of what they do. They need to make sure that they punish the person accordingly.”