Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for an end to sledging in cricket.
Mr Turnbull said for the game to repair its tarnished image, harmful incidents like cheating and sledging had to be eradicated from the game.
The animosity in the current Test series between Australia and South Africa, which came to a head with the ball-tampering saga, has featured allegations of personal sledges being exchanged between the sides.
Mr Turnbull said such incidents undermined a game that had been “synonymous with fair play”.
“I think there has to be the strongest action taken against this practice of sledging,” he said.
It has gotten right out of control. It should have no place. The game of cricket … should be one that once again is held up as a role model.”
Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland has joined CA’s integrity chief Iain Roy and team performance manager Pat Howard in South Africa to investigate the incident in which opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, at the instruction of the leadership group including captain Steve Smith, used tape to scuff the ball during the third Test in Cape Town.
“They now have to make sure that this great national game, this great international game that is synonymous with fair play, is once again a game that is played by champions that everybody can look up to.” Mr Turnbull said.
“I mean, this has been a shocking affront to Australia.
“Where do we want to get to? We want to get to the point where we can all say once again, not rhetorically but heartfelt and with sincerity, that cricket is a fair game, cricket is a game that is synonymous with a fair go and fair play.”