Australia cricket scandal: A body blow to an incredulous nation

What were they thinking? It’s a simple question that has consumed many Australians since the nation’s cricket team was engulfed in a cheating scandal in South Africa.

This weekend, captain Steve Smith said his team’s “leadership group” had hatched a plan to deliberately tamper with the ball during a Test in Cape Town.

The revelation has embarrassed a nation where elite athletes are often adored and even feted as “legends”.

The reaction here to those extraordinary events in South Africa has been furious. There is anger, disbelief and disappointment, even among some Australians with little interest in sport.

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