Australia cricket captain Steve Smith and Vice-captain David Warner are found guilty by International Cricket Council (ICC). They are suspended down from their roles on Sunday. They were found involved in the ball-tampering scandal that has outraged the cricketing world.
Smith, the No. 1 batsman in Test cricket and Warner stepped down from their leadership roles in the third Test. Smith was found cheating by tampering the ball with a piece of yellow adhesive tape and some dirt during the match on Saturday.
Smith and Warner played on the fourth day of the Test at Newlands in Cape Town and lost the match by 322 runs. Coach Darren Lehmann involvement is also expected in the case.
Action taken by ICC
They are likely to announce severe punishment which could even be a life ban for the leadership group in the team. Batsman Cameron Bancroft who tasked the tampering is also fined by ICC. It involves 75% of his match fee and three disciplinary demerit points. While many former cricketers criticized ICC’s decision one-match ban on Smith.
After it was clarified that the lunchtime discussion did not involve the entire leadership group, the focused was sharpened on Smith and Warner. Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon are also included in this list.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said, “How can my team be engaged in cheating like this? It beggars belief.” He is expecting cricket leaders to take some strict actions against them as soon as possible.
He issued a public apology to Australian followers of the game with the Board involving the television rights negotiations for the next five years with the Nine, Ten and Seven networks and the pay television network Fox Sports.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland promised an urgent and full investigation of the entire case. According to them, it is the most embarrassing moments for Australian sport. He will keep updating on their findings which is a matter of priority.
The head of integrity Iain Roy and Manager Pat Howard were urgently sent to South Africa to lead the investigation.
Smith admitted that he was tasked to do the on-field cheating. The plan was implemented by the team’s “leadership group”. He said that it was a big error in his judgment but he will learn from it and move past it.
Australia cricket team behaviour calls into question the integrity of their team as well as that of the country.