Henriques has played with both Smith and Warner at the domestic level for a number of years. © Getty Images

Henriques has played with both Smith and Warner at the domestic level for a number of years. © Getty Images

Moises Henriques, the Australia allrounder, came out in support for the banned trio of Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, saying that the players weren’t cheating for their own benefit, but did it for the sake of the team.

Henriques took to Twitter to defend his teammates, especially Warner, saying the opener was only trying to “selflessly” advantage the bowling unit when he hatched a plan to tamper with the ball.

“There are two kinds of people who break the rules in sport; ones that do it for their own personal gain, whether that be financial or performance, and there’s ones that try and do it for the team and so the team can win,” he told SEN Radio later. “And I’m not saying the second one is okay, it’s definitely not okay, I’m just saying I find one easier to forgive than the other.”

Henriques, 31, also reiterated that he didn’t condone the act of ball-tampering itself and called any claims of the trio committing the act for personal financial gain as ‘garbage’.

“They did the wrong thing, but they’re trying to do it so the team wins. They’re not fixing a match where they’re trying to purposely lose a game for their own financial gain. There’s grey areas in terms of the character of these people. They broke the rules, they’re being punished and fair enough. But some of the comments about their character are a little bit out of line.”

Henriques has played with both Warner and Smith at the domestic level, and also played under the former at Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.

“There’s people out there copping a fair bit of flak and I was trying to offer a slightly different light on the character of these people,” he went on. “I ask people to put themselves in their shoes and do be aware when they’re passing judgement that they’re just human beings as well. I know they’re role models and they’re paid to be and they’re well looked after, but a tough time is a tough time.”

Glenn Maxwell witnessed the consequences of the backlash from the ball-tampering incident along with Matt Renshaw and Joe Burns who were called up for the final Test in Johannesburg, which Australia lost by 492 runs. While Maxwell himself didn’t feature in the Test, he conceded that the atmosphere in the squad was extremely low and desolate after watching Smith being heckled at the airport, and tear-filled press conferences when both Bancroft and the Australia captain arrived back back home.

“I think the way they saw it, it was obviously beaten up a fair bit and they’ve seen a couple of their mates treated like criminals,” said Maxwell. “That is a hard thing for you to a watch as a teammate, and to what they went through, especially Steve Smith at the airport. That was a hard thing for everyone to watch.

“To then try and get yourself up for a game of cricket a day later was extremely difficult, and I certainly didn’t envy their position at all. It was an extremely tough time for that whole playing group.”

Maxwell hoped that the arrival of the three new squad members would help the dressing room to focus on the Test at hand, whether it was cheering them up or trying to bring energy to the practice sessions. “The enormity struck me at the end of the Test match when Boof (coach Darren Lehmann) had his goodbye speech and spoke about a few players in the group that he hoped could lead the group going forward, and I think that’s when it all hit me and how hard it was for this young group.”