Published: Wed, March 28, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft sent home in disgrace

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft sent home in disgrace

As per the investigation reports found out till now, only these three players, Smith, Warner, and Bancroft, were aware of the incident taking place.

"This includes Darren Lehmann, who despite inaccurate media reports, has not resigned from his position", he added.

Despite initial reports he would resign, Lehmann has been cleared of any involvement and will continue to coach the Aussie team under his current contract. "The responsibilities of the captain are higher than on anyone and the leaders as well, but certainly that is something that is really important to the game of cricket and in some ways separates it from other sports, and that's part of what hurts right now". There has been personal sledging about people's private lives, families and wives and I think Sutherland will come down very hard on these two [Smith and Warner] players.

Though he had harsh words for the trio, Sutherland refused to use the term "cheat", and would only say they had broken the rules.

The national governing body expects to announce the results of the investigation in Johannesburg later today and although Smith said the coaching staff had been unaware of the conspiracy, Lehmann still had questions to answer.

Steve Smith has admitted he oversaw a plot to change the condition of the ball during the third Test loss to South Africa in Cape Town and has been temporarily removed as captain of the side, while the position of head coach Darren Lehmann - a former global team-mate of Waugh's - is under scrutiny.

"The players involved have officially been reported for breaching Australian cricket's code of conduct".

The ramifications of the scandal have been far-reaching with the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the guardian of the laws of the game, calling for a "major shift in attitude" to preserve the game for future generations.

"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".

"We recognise this issue goes beyond the technical nature of offences and various codes of conduct".

Cricket captain Steve Smith initially thought it was not needed for him to be stood down for approving the simple "misdeed" of tampering with the ball by a team member. It's about whether we can feel proud of the players and teams. I thoroughly understand the appetite of urgency given the reputation of Australia as a sporting nation has been damaged in the eyes of many.

"It is not a good day for Australian cricket", Mr Sutherland said.

De Villiers told Australian radio station RSN927 that he had tipped off the camera crew that caught Cameron Bancroft rubbing the ball with a piece of yellow tape which the batsman then tried to hide.

During the post-match press briefing, Australia captain Steve Smith admitted that his side deliberately tried to tamper with the condition of the ball in an orchestrated attempt to gain an advantage.

Smith is banned for one match and fined his entire match fee by the ICC.

And so speculation has mounted about potentially lengthy bans for Smith and for Warner - who hasn't commented publicly on the incident - and the possibility of coach Darren Lehmann either quitting or being fired.

A huge rift has reportedly emerged between Warner and others on the team, with the vice-captain removing himself from the players' WhatsApp group and isolating himself from teammates. They are Matt Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell, and Joe Burns. The 21-year-old, who impressed on his debut summer in the baggy green, is all but certain to make his return in Johannesburg for the fourth Test on Friday.

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