Australian skipper Steven Smith along with vice-captain David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were handed suspension by the Cricket Australia (CA) while the investigation for the ball tampering row still continues.The ball-tampering scandal unraveled during the on-going Test series against South Africa. All three Aussie players were found guilty during the investigation of breaching the article 2.3.5 of Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct.
James Sutherland, CA CEO, said: “In view of the broader reputational and integrity issues involved, the sanctions that will be contemplated are significant. The process must, therefore, be thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined. I understand the appetite for urgency given the reputation of Australia as a sporting nation has been damaged in the eyes of many. However, urgency must be balanced with due process given the serious implications for all involved. In addition to sanctions for individuals, Cricket Australia will initiate an independent review into the conduct and culture of our Australian men’s teams.”
He also added, “We will have more to say about this review in the coming days, but it will be conducted by an expert panel who will report to the Cricket Australia Board.”
Current Australian coach Lehmann who was reported to have resigned from his role effective immediately was reinitiated to his role. Sutherland said Lehmann was not aware of the ball tampering incident. He added, “Darren Lehmann has not offered to resign as far as I’m aware, certainly not to me.”
In absence of Smith, Tim Paine will be the leading the Australian side in the fourth Test against South Africa. Also, Matt Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns are added to the Australian squad for the upcoming Test.
Smith is handed a one-Test ban by ICC along with a 100% match fee fine, while Bancroft was handed a 75% match fee fine.