Sachin Tendulkar defends Australian players accused of ball-tampering

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Controversy in the cricket world has dominated the headlines over the past several days, as three players have come under public scrutiny due to alleged ball-tampering during a Test match in South Africa.

The trio in question just happen to be Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith, and David Warner, three of the most polarising players in Australia.

They were sent home from the South Africa tour for their involvement in a plot to change the condition of the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

In a press conference, the three men appeared to be showing contrition when the scandal was brought up, with Smith getting very emotional to the point of shedding tears.

While many commentators, pundits, and fellow athletes have criticised them, one player is coming to their defense, and that is Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar published his feelings on the scandal to Twitter, and believes the Aussies have dealt with enough criticism.

"They are regretting and hurting and will have to live with the consequences of their act," Tendulkar wrote.

"Spare a thought for their families as they have much to endure along with the players. Time for all of us to take a step back and give them some space."

He also said it was time for the cricket community to give the trio some breathing space after the media firestorm caused by the scandal over the past week.

However, it is worth noting that earlier, Tendulkar tweeted in support of Cricket Australia's decision to hand one-year bans to Smith and Warner, along with a nine-month ban to Bancroft, saying the lengthy suspensions were necessary to safeguard the integrity of the sport.

"Cricket has been known as a gentleman's game," the 44-year-old said. "It's a game that I believe should be played in the purest form.

"Whatever has happened is unfortunate but the right decision has been taken to uphold the integrity of the game. Winning is important but the way you win is more important."

Cricket Australia's investigation concluded that Warner had developed the plan to alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper and that the vice-captain then instructed Bancroft to carry out his plan on the third day of the third Test against South Africa.

Smith is charged with having had knowledge of the plot, but failing to prevent it from being executed.

Smith and Warner have also been barred from competing in this year's Indian Premier League tournament by the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

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