Aussies ‘out of control’ before sandpaper, says umpire
Umpire Ian Gould says the Australian cricket team were "out of control" two years before the infamous Sandpapergate scandal.
The Englishman was acting as the third umpire on the fateful day in Cape Town in 2018 when Australia's opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught rubbing sandpaper on the ball.
Gould has penned his thoughts about the scandal in his autobiography, 'Gunner - My Life in Cricket'.
The 62-year-old recalls his first reaction was focused on how he could get a message down to the umpires on the field about what the TV cameras had revealed without causing too much of a scene.
"All I thought was - Jesus, how do I put this out to the guys on the field without making it an over-reaction," Gould wrote.
"But when it came into my earpiece I didn't think the prime minister of Australia was going to come tumbling down on these three guys.
"I didn't realise what the repercussions would be."
Gould, who officiated in his final international match at last year's World Cup, said Australia's behaviour on the field had grown increasingly poor in the lead-up to the South African blow-up.
"If you look back on it now, Australia were out of control probably two years, maybe three years, before that, but not in this sense," he writes.
"Maybe - behavioural, chatty, being pretty average people. Obviously, what's come from it is for the betterment of Australian cricket - and cricket generally."
Gould, a wicketkeeper who played 18 ODIs for England and was part of the 1983 World Cup, joined the first-class umpiring ranks in 2002 and officiated in 74 Tests.
Originally published as Aussies 'out of control' before sandpaper, says umpire