Only the most heartless cricket fans were still unprepared to offer Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft forgiveness after their heart-wrenching press conferences on Thursday night.
But just as importantly for two men who have many good years of cricket left in them, we also saw — finally — people ready to fight for them, news.com.au reports.
Offering two young men who showed unmistakeable remorse for their actions is crucial in their recovery from the most intense period of their lives.
Let's hope they both receive dozens of letters like the one Nine news presenter Deborah Knight's nine-year-old wrote last night.
But we can do better — and some in the cricket fraternity are committed to doing so.
While sponsors are jumping off at an alarming rate and overseas competitions like the Indian Premier League and England's county championship have closed their doors, two important moves were made last night as cricket began to fight back on the behalf of two fallen stars.
WACA LOOKING AT RULE CHANGE
Missed during Bancroft's impressive showing last night was an important revelation by equally-impressive WACA CEO Christina Matthews, who tellingly sat by the 25-year-old's side as he fronted the press.
Matthews said Western Australian cricket would consider changing its rules to allow Bancroft to play for his local grade side Willeton, which he is currently banned from doing under Cricket Australia's sanctions.
"Cameron's been a well respected and well regarded member of the WA cricket family and he's made a dreadful mistake but we'll help him through that," she said.
Unlike Smith and David Warner, Bancroft can return to the Australian team next summer. But unlike Smith and Warner, who are our two best batsmen, he's not a walk-up start in the team and you sense will need runs on the board before he can force his way back in. Playing grade cricket is a crucial step in that process.
CRICKETERS ASSOCIATION CHALLENGES BANS
The Australian Cricketers Association also finally went into bat for Smith, Bancroft and Warner in a signal the trio may challenge their bans.
In a statement, the ACA declared there were a "number of glaring and clear anomalies in the process to date" which caused the body to question ACA to question the severity of the punishments.
These included the stark difference in Cricket Australia's sanctions — which included 12-month bans for Smith and Warner and a nine-month ban for Bancroft — and the International Cricket Council's response, which was one-match for Smith and a fine and three demerit points for Bancroft.
And the difference in the sanctions compared to the punishments handed down in world cricket in the past when other players have been caught for ball-tampering.
"All Australians would understand the right of the players to receive advice from their advisers, peers and family and the time necessary to ensure the sanctions are fair and proportional," the ACA said.
NICHOLAS, DU PLESSIS BELIEVE BANS TOO HARSH
Is there a chance the bans could be reduced so Smith and Warner can return for a home series against India starting in November? That will depend on how forgiving cricket is prepared to be.
But it's becoming easier and easier to find prominent figures who believe they should be. "I do not see it as a hanging offence," wrote Mark Nicholas, the frontman for Channel Nine's cricket coverage in Australia. "Clearly the captaincy had to go, and equally clearly the vice-captaincy. The punishment that has followed has been extremely severe, and I cannot help but think of Smith and Bancroft."
Even South African captain Faf du Plessis admitted he thought Smith's 12-month ban was too harsh.
"I think, yes, I think so," du Plessis said. "But I understand the context of it now. Perhaps I didn't understand how important it is to them, but you can really see how much it means to the Australian public. You can understand why they think they need to be so harsh ...
"(But) from where I'm sitting, I think it (Smith's sanction) is harsh if you go back into the history where certain players have been in similar situations."