Indian skipper Virat Kohli has openly come out and sympathised with the banned duo of Steven Smith and David Warner, stating that whatever panned out earlier this year in March at Cape Town was 'sad to see'.
Both Smith and Warner, then captain and vice-captain of Australia, were banned for one year by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the ball tampering scandal which rocked the cricketing fraternity.
While some felt the ban was excess, there were others who came hard on the players, even going to heckle abuse at them and their families. And according to Kohli, the attack on the duo was sad sight.
"Well, it was sad to see. As big a thing as it became, you never want to see anyone go through that because I have known David and I have known Steve as well," Kohli told Fox Sports before adding, "The things that hit me the hardest was the way they were received at the airports and the way they were escorted out."
Prior to the start of the ongoing series between Australia and India, there were pleas sent forward to Cricket Australia, seeking reduction in bans of the two players. But the country's cricketing body dismissed all requests.
CA stated that the quantum of punishment was right given how it impacted the reputation of the country's team. On this matter, CA's interim Chair Earl Eddings said,
"The Cricket Australia Board has carefully considered all elements of the ACA submission and has determined that it is not appropriate to make any changes to the sanctions handed down to the three players. Despite the absence of any recommendation regarding the sanctions in the recently released Ethics Centre Review, the Board has deliberated on the ACA's submission at length. We have reconsidered the sanctions as they apply to each of Steve, David and Cameron in light of the ACA's submission and the Ethics Centre Review and Recommendations."
Earl Eddings further mentioned that the original decision was taken after a lot of consideration, hence, there is no possibility that there will be a reduction in the punishment, even in the future.
"The original decision of the Board to sanction the players was determined after rigorous discussion and consideration. CA maintains that both the length and nature of the sanctions remain an appropriate response in light of the considerable impact on the reputation of Australian cricket, here and abroad. Steve, David and Cameron are working hard to demonstrate their commitment to cricket and have our continued support to ensure their pathway to return is as smooth as possible," he added.