After the humiliating episode of sandpaper-gate last year, Australia's cricket team decided to completely revamp their culture. Players were supposed to play the game in a tough but fair manner and put away some of the unsavoury tactics that made them unpopular.
But one Australian player seems to have been unable to get over some old bad habits. During a Sheffield Shield match, James Pattinson, fast bowler, indulged in some foul language. He abused a player in the opposition while fielding.
While the actual content of his comments hasn't been revealed, is has been regarded as bad enough for Cricket Australia to hand him a one-Test ban that will result in him missing the first Test against Pakistan which starts on November 21.
The pacer has accepted his mistake and has even apologised for the same. "I made a mistake in the heat of the moment. Straight away I realised I was in the wrong, and I apologised immediately, both to the opponent and to the umpires. I have done the wrong thing and accept the penalty. I'm gutted to miss a Test match, but the standards are there for a reason and the fault is mine," Pattinson stated.
Speaking about the ban, Cricket Australia's Head of Integrity and Security Sean Carroll said: "We have a duty to uphold the highest standards of behaviour and the action taken in this matter demonstrates that."
In its official statement that declared the ban on Pattinson, Cricket Australia informed everyone about the reasons behind this action. "Pattinson was found guilty of a Level Two breach of CA's Code of Conduct during Victoria's Marsh Sheffield Shield match against Queensland last week and, as it was his third breach of the Code in the past 18 months, it triggered a one-match ban."
It is worth remembering that Cricket Australia was the body that imposed a one-year ban on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft after the three men were involved in the infamous sandpaper-gate scandal. The chief governing body of the cricket world, International Cricket Council (ICC) had handed out just a one-match ban to the disgraced trio.
In recent times, Australia has favoured a bowling attack consisting of three pacers and Nathan Lyon. Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are certain to feature in Australia's playing XI. The third spot in the team may well have gone to Pattinson had he not fallen into this controversy. In his absence, Australia will have to go for Mitchell Starc as their third seamer.