'Didn't look great': Steve Smith slammed for 'unbecoming' act

Andrew Reid
·3-min read
Seen here, Steve Smith looks angry about a decision in the Sheffield Shield match against Victoria.
Steve Smith was fuming after being given out caught behind in NSW's Sheffield Shield match against Victoria. Pic: Getty

Steve Smith's prospects of captaining Australia again have taken a hit, according to a pair of respected Aussie sports journalists.

Smith and Marnus Labuschagne - another man touted as a potential future captain of Australia - were both at the centre of recent incidents in the Sheffield Shield that have come under fire.

In the second innings of his NSW side's match against Victoria, Smith was given out caught behind off the bowling of Bushrangers quick Will Sutherland.

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To say the former Aussie skipper was incensed with the decision was probably an understatement.

Smith trudged angrily back to the pavilion, shaking his head and gesturing at his thigh pad to indicate that he hadn't edged the ball.

Likewise for Labuschagne in Hobart, the star batsman copped what he thought was the wrong umpiring decision and couldn't hide his disgust.

Labuschagne was given out in similar circumstances to Smith after a ball from Tasmanian all-rounder Beau Webster that beat the right-hander's bat.

The Bulls batsman shot several perplexed looks at the umpire before shaking his head all the way back to the sheds.

Smith and Labuschagne are Australia's highest ranked Test batsman and their insatiable appetite for runs is obvious for all the see.

However, veteran sports reporters Gerard Whateley and Robert Craddock said they still need to show respect to umpires and take any bad decisions on the chin.

Craddock said both incidents were a bad look for Smith and Labuschagne and would not strengthen their cases to become Australian captain.

Pictured here, Marnus Labuschagne in action for the Bulls in the Sheffield Shield.
Marnus Labuschagne's reaction to his dismissal in the Sheffield Shield has come under fire. Pic: Getty

Anger over Smith, Labuschagne reactions

He said for Smith in particular, any form of bad behaviour is only magnified after the infamous 'Sandpapergate' scandal.

“As we continue this debate as to who Australia’s next cricket captain would be, that certainly doesn’t advance you in the cause,” Craddock said.

“What we know with Steve Smith post-Sandpapergate is that any sign of poor behaviour just gets jumped on and magnified fourfold because of his history.

“You would never want to stop animation to the nth degree, but it didn’t look great.

“I saw the vision of both of those — and they were probably not out — but it doesn’t matter, you do get stinkers.

“There were some people, myself included, who think that down the track Labuschagne will have the portfolio to be a Test captain.

“Stuff like that … you have to improve.”

Whateley said the footage of both men's reactions to their dismissals was "unbecoming" for players of their calibre.

“Neither liked the decisions they were given – neither made any efforts to disguise it,” Whateley told SEN’s Whateley on Monday.

“It was one of the triggers identified prior to South Africa in the deterioration in Australian cricket.

“I wonder if it passes unremarked or whether it actually draws the reaction and the consequence that it should.

“The vision of both of them is actually unbecoming.”

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