Ball-tampering chief culprits Smith‚ Warner and Bancroft sent home

Australia’s ball-tampering trio of deposed captain Steven Smith‚ David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will have the book thrown at them for their role in the ball-doctoring that took place in the third test at Newlands.

Australia’s captain Steve Smith (R) leads his team including David Warner (C), off the field after their defeat on the fourth day of the second Test cricket match between South Africa and Australia at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on March 12, 2018.
South Africa won by 6 wickets to level the four match Test series. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive officer James Sutherland said on Tuesday the investigation conducted by the organisation wasn’t complete but said the preliminary findings established that Smith‚ Warner and Bancroft were at the heart of the ball-tampering fracas that played out on the third afternoon in Cape Town.

The three top-order batsmen have been sent home to face the music while the two leaders (Smith and Warner) have been removed from their lofty positions. Coach Darren Lehmann‚ though‚ has survived the fallout of the controversy.

The investigation will be completed within the next 24 hours and Sutherland said CA will be in a position to make an announcement in regard to sanctions.

“In regards with these three players on report‚ I want to stress that we’re contemplating significant sanctions in each case‚” Sutherland said.

“These sanctions will reflect the gravity in which we view what has occurred and the damage it has done to the standing of Australian cricket. The key finding was that prior knowledge was limited to the three players and no other player and support staff had prior knowledge.

“We’re not at all comfortable with what has taken place. We have conducted an investigation‚ made reports and sanctions will be issued tomorrow. They will be significant and will reflect the seriousness of the situation.”

The players were reported for breaching article 2.3.5 of CA’s code of conduct. Smith was already banned by the International Cricket Council for the forthcoming test match at the Wanderers while also losing his entire match fee.

Bancroft accrued three demerit points and was docked 75 percent of his match fee while Warner‚ who during the match was not seen to be involved in the skulduggery‚ was not charged.

However‚ Warner was also skating on thin ice because of his staircase encounter with Quinton de Kock where Warner had to be restrained by his teammates after exchanging words with the South African cricket team.

Warner collected three demerit points and was docked 75 percent of his match-fee because of the incident that took place at Kingsmead.

Sutherland said that CA had to take swift and significant action to ensure whatever integrity the game has with the Australian public is salvaged.

“There are issues I can’t go into because we are in the midst of a process and I suspect some of that will come out in due course‚” Sutherland said.

“This is a reminder of how Australian cricket fans want their stars to behave. They want to be proud of their players and this situation is extraordinarily bad for Australian cricket.

“This has damaged the ability of the sport to inspire kids to play the game‚ love the game and idolise their heroes.

“It’s a sorry state and we need to everything we can to repair that damage.”

By: Khanyiso Tshwaku – TimesLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.

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