The girlfriend of Australian cricketer Cameron Bancroft has been inundated with crude, vitriolic social media comments regarding his involvement in the Australian cricket team’s ball tampering scandal.
The Instagram account of Caity Paris, a Perth netball player who has dated Bancroft for over a year, is littered with comments from cricket fans furious after Bancroft was filmed using tape to affect a ball during Australia’s third Test against South Africa on Saturday.
Everything from selfies of Paris and Bancroft on his 25th birthday to photos of Paris attending events solo were the target of cruel messages like “cheater” and “disgrace to cricket”.
“How does it feel to be the girlfriend of a cheat?” one commenter posted on a photo of Paris and Bancroft in Brisbane during the first Ashes Test in November.
A post shared by cαítч (@caityparis96) on
Australian captain Steve Smith confessed on Sunday morning that he authorised premeditated cheating on day three of the third Test against South Africa, by using sticky tape in an illegal attempt to change the condition of the ball.
Batsman Bancroft was caught on camera using the tape while working on the ball in the post-lunch session, then attempted to hide it from umpires by concealing in his pants.
Paris isn’t the only cricketing partner to have her social media accounts targeted by trolls in recent days, with David Warner’s wife Candice Warner also getting bombarded with criticism.
Photos of she and Warner’s two young children have unfortunately been particularly popular with angry cricket fans, who have used the comments section to debate whether or not Warner and his teammates should be banned for life.
However, Smith’s fiancee Dani Willis has surprisingly been on the receiving end of kinder sentiments.
Currently on holiday in New York City, Willis is staying quiet about the controversy surrounding her husband-to-be, but fans have asked her to pass on their well wishes to Smith in comments on her latest Instagram post.
“Dani – tell Smithy that we back him through and through. Everybody makes errors in judgement and he will return to his former glory once this settles,” commenter Mitchell Sigley wrote to Willis.
“Don’t listen to haters Dani, we are with you and always will [be],” another Instagram user wrote.
But for every message of support on Willis’s page there are five more of criticism and rage directed at the couple, who got engaged in June last year while on holiday in New York.
According to stand-in captain Tim Paine, both Smith and Bancroft have been struggling with the public backlash they’ve received since the ball tampering first came to light.
“They’re not great,” Paine told the ABC. “It’s been a horrible 24 hours, they’re struggling but probably the reality and the enormity of what’s happened is starting to sink in.
“Maybe some did [underestimate how bad it was]. I don’t think we all would have expected this to be as big as it has been and particularly the fallout that we have seen from back home.
“The reality and enormity of it has sunk in.”