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Ball-tampering investigation a whitewash - Wisden editor

Cameron Bancroft and Steven Smith leave the press conference where they admitted to ball tampering Gallo Images/Getty Images

The editor of the Wisden Almanack, Lawrence Booth, has said Cricket Australia's investigation into the ball-tampering scandal "felt more like a whitewash" and called out the Australians for believing they had been "above the law".

The comments, part of the traditional Notes by the Editor, in the 156th edition of the Almanack which was published on Wednesday, come as Steven Smith and David Warner are eligible for international cricket again having served their one-year bans. Both are set to be included in the World Cup squad next week and will also feature in the Ashes.

Although a number of individuals at CA quit or lost their jobs in the wake of the ball-tampering, which led to a cultural review of the board, Smith and Warner along with Cameron Bancroft, who was handed a nine-month ban, were the only people directly punished.

Booth said the reaction to the ball-tampering itself had been over the top, but that it stemmed from the way Australia had gone about their cricket well before the headline-grabbing incident in South Africa.

"An inquiry by Cricket Australia felt more like a whitewash: there had been no previous tampering, and only three players were involved," Booth writes. "Fancy that…The outrage was disproportionate: fiddling with the ball, if not rubbing it with sandpaper, happens.

"But there was more to it than outrage. Australia had been undone by the hubris-nemesis one-two, which has kept playwrights in business since Ancient Greece.

"With their prattle about the line - where it should be drawn (just beyond whatever the Australians had just done) and by whom (the Australians, naturally) - Smith's side forfeited the last drop of goodwill. This wasn't just English tittering: many of their compatriots were sick of them too. To cheat so brazenly confirmed a widely held suspicion: Australia believed they were above the law."

There has been a sense over the last 12 months that the full story has not emerged, something Mark Taylor, the former Australia captain and CA board director, suggested recently when he said the scope of the initial investigation after Cape Town was too limited. It is also understood that David Saker, who recently quit as Australia's assistant coach and was part of the set-up during Newlands, is under a non-disclosure agreement until late September.

Kevin Roberts, the CA chief executive, has said that he would welcome hearing from anyone who had more information about the events.

"We're really serious about addressing any unresolved issues and we're sincere in the way we're going about that," Roberts said. "So if there are any reports or allegations as opposed to innuendo, then we will investigate that thoroughly."