India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claims Australia's Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft need support after the trio were handed a lengthy ban by Cricket Australia for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
The incident in question took place on the third day of the third Test between Australia and South Africa in Cape Town. The television cameras caught Bancroft, tampering the ball with sandpaper.
Bancroft admitted his wrongdoing at the press conference after the end of the day's play. Smith, who was captaining the side, also revealed he was aware of incident in advance. The International Cricket Council (ICC) handed the latter a one match ban.
Despite the punishment handed by the ICC, Cricket Australia had other plans. Smith and Warner were handed a 12-month ban, while Bancroft has been banned for nine months from playing domestic and international cricket.
India cricket great Sachin Tendulkar has already urged people, including current and former players, along with commentators to stop criticizing Smith, Warner and Bancroft. The former Australia captain broke down while speaking about the ball-tampering scandal during a press conference in Sydney on March 29.
Ashwin, who earlier blamed technological advances, for Bancroft being caught has now called on Australia players union to provide support to the trio and their families.
"The world simply wants to see you cry, once you have cried they will feel satisfied and live happily ever after. If only Empathy was not just a Word and people still had it. God give @stevesmith49 and Bancroft all the strength to come out of this," Ashwin tweeted.
"And @davidwarner31 will also need the strength to fight it out, hopefully their players union will provide them with all the support."
When one Twitter user pointed out to Ashwin that they made more than one mistake, he replied: "I am not big enough a human being to do moral policing or classify their deeds as right or wrong, I feel bad for the way they are being bombarded and can't even imagine their lives for the immediate few days or months. They need support now."