Melbourne, April 11: Glenn Maxwell says it was tough for Australia to focus on the end of their tour of South Africa, having seen their team-mates "treated like criminals" following the ball-tampering fiasco.
Australian cricket was thrust into scandal in the middle of the four-Test series against the Proteas, with Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft sent home before being handed lengthy bans by Cricket Australia for their involvement.
South Africa ran out comfortable 3-1 winners and Maxwell - one of three players called in to replace the sanctioned squad members - revealed how difficult it was for the team to recover.
"It was such a hard thing to come into," he told Radio SEN. "The first day I was there they had the interviews with Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith.
"To try go to training and provide some energy after that was a difficult thing, and obviously the group was struggling after watching that. 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.
"That is a hard thing for you to watch as a team-mate, and to see what they went through - especially Steve Smith at the airport - that was a hard thing for everyone to watch.
"To then try to get yourself ready for a game of cricket a day later was extremely difficult - I certainly didn't envy their position at all. It was an extremely tough time for that whole playing group."