Why cheating fallout has been so brutal
OPINION: I WAS criticised earlier this week for bringing personality into the debate when giving my two cents on the fallout following the Australian cricket cheating scandal.
But you can't ignore the personality aspect of the many factors fuelling such venom in what has been a vicious public backlash against the likes of Steve Smith, Dave Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Darren Lehmann.
I was asked whether if it had been different personalities or past greats that had been caught out, whether the public reaction would've been so acidic.
I think it's pretty safe to say no, possibly nowhere near as aggressive.
But therein lies one of the roots of what is a complex matter.
It's clear that the public affection for our national team is simply not there with this crop of players and coaching staff.
They are arrogant. They play the game in the wrong spirit. They think they are much better than they are and exist in a bubble obviously very far removed from public perception and expectation.
Dave Warner's life resembles a soap opera, while Smith offers next to no insight into his character in any public appearances.
Think about the characters of the past that we have embraced.
Warnie has to be first that springs to mind.
For all his failings and shortcomings, so many of us still have a very, very soft spot for the greatest bowler the game has ever seen.
No, it wasn't just his supreme talent.
Sure, his ability to glue entire households to television sets every time he picked up the ball was unrivalled, but that wasn't it.
It's what still extracts warm smiles when we hear his insights on commentary.
He is a rogue. A larrikin. A bloke acutely aware he is not perfect and a bloke who, despite what some may think, respects the game and its traditions, except possibly the no dancing rule on the Trent Bridge balcony.
He appreciates what the game did for him.
Warner on the other hand comes across as such an abrasive character.
He is a flat-track bully. A flash in the pan who fails more than he flies and is fast being found out by bowlers.
Why not stay humble, play with a hard, steely resolve, but conduct yourself with grace and dignity?
When his bat isn't talking it's a very ugly identity that comes across on-field.
Why did we love people like Matty Hayden? Andrew Symonds? Adam Gilchrist? Mike Hussey?
They were relatable, knockabout, grateful for their opportunity and came across as humble.
They respected their position and how the rest of the country looked upon them.
This current side clearly doesn't give a toss and have shown no understanding of what their steadfastly loyal fans expect and more importantly, respect.