Rightly, it took down not solely Bancroft, but also the Australian captain, Steve Smith, and the vice-captain, David Warner. All three were suspended, sent home, and banned from the game. The coach, Darren Lehmann, also resigned from his post.
Throughout the world of cricket, the shock and anger was palpable. And it was no consolation for English fans that the culprits were Australian. It was an assault on the game itself and we were all affected.
We now know that, at the same time, the other great summer game, baseball, was also under threat.
The Astros were stealing signs, using a video camera in centre field. They did so during their World Series-winning 2017 and again in 2018.
And the man who was ‘an active participant in the scheme’ was the Astro’ bench coach.
Alex, who won his successive World Series ring with us in 2018, is no longer in charge at the Red Sox, who acted quickly and definitively when the MLB report was published.
The Sox did not wait for the verdict of the parallel investigation into the steal-signing allegations in during the annus mirabilis of 2018.
They fired him. I guess even Alex realised that there was no future for him. Not at Fenway. Probably not in baseball.
Why? Why did he do it?
Because the pressure for success from owners and fans is so overwhelming? Because the need to win is more important than the game itself? Because the distinction between success and failure is so small that the tiniest advantage is worth the risk?
Barry Bonds was the greatest player of his generation before he embarked on his steroids. Lance Armstrong would have been a Tour de France winner without blood transfusions. Steve Smith is one of the greatest players cricket has seen.
The Red Sox would probably have won the World Series without steal-signing. So would the Astros the year before.
The outrage we feel is moral outrage. The individuals involved have been named and shamed, the Series championships won by the Astros and the Sox will be accompanied by an asterisk.
But the loss is the game itself. And on its behalf, I am not just disappointed. I am angry.
Today from the everysmith vaults: Chris Forsyth from The Colony in Woodstock at the turn of the year. A great performance and a great, warm recording.