Warne: 'Punishment not befitting the crime'

Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne reckons a more appropriate punishment would have been "missing the fourth Test match, a huge fine, and be sacked as captain and vice-captain."

Steve Smith has been banned from all forms of international cricket for 12 months following his involvement in the ball-tampering episode.   -  Getty Images

Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne believes "the jump to hysteria is something that has elevated the offence" of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft all of whom have received heavy sanctions from Cricket Australia for their involvement in the ball-tampering episode.

While Warner and Smith have been banned from all forms of international cricket for a year, Bancroft has been sidelined for nine months.

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But Warne reckons a more appropriate punishment would have been "missing the fourth Test match, a huge fine, and be sacked as captain and vice-captain."

"To hear that the Australian cricket team had been involved in premeditated cheating is something that is embarrassing," Warne told News Ltd.

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"Then there’s the idea of premeditated cheating. But are there levels of ball tampering, or is it just ball tampering? Is putting a mint in your pocket so you can shine a ball on the field premeditated cheating, or just ball tampering?" he weighed in before adding, " What about putting sunscreen on the ball? You either ball tamper or you don't. For that reason, I don't think the punishment is fitting the crime."