Sport

Australia cricket captain Steve Smith quits over ball-tampering scandal

Australia cricket captain Steve Smith quits over ball-tampering scandal”

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Qantas - Cricket Australia's major sponsor - has reportedly urged the governing body to make "a statement to the rest of the world" in its punishment, during a function at the Australian High Commission in London.

Sutherland hinted at a more deep-seated divide between Cricket Australia and its besieged skipper - who held a long-running battle with the game's bosses in this country during the ugly pay dispute a year ago. "I'm not proud of what has happened. I will do my best to move forward and play cricket". "It's not within the spirit of the game".

Worldwide cricket bosses suspended Australia captain Steve Smith for one match and docked his entire match fee for the current Test after he admitted responsibility for the ball-tampering scandal in the ongoing game against South Africa.

Cricket Australia can come in over the top of the ICC to impose more heavy sanctions on any of those involved in the ball-tampering affair - in which youngster Cameron Bancroft was caught red-handed with some makeshift sandpaper used to rough up one side of the ball and encourage reverse swing.

The umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth were then seen speaking with Bancroft, though they did not choose to change the ball or penalise the Australians five runs - the statutory on-field penalty for illegally changing the condition of the ball.

Smith revealed that the notion of tampering with the ball was first raised at lunch and concocted by an unnamed leadership group. Bancroft was caught on television cameras appearing to rub a yellow object on the ball, and later said: "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's not within the spirit of the game". Unlike Smith, he is theoretically available to play the fourth Test against the Proteas in Johannesburg, though it would hardly be a surprise if he was removed from action by Cricket Australia.

But Sutherland's decision was to wait until he has more information.

It was claimed Smith and vice-captain David Warner stood down voluntarily, but it seems they had little choice in the matter.

"The Board fully supports the process for an immediate investigation into what occurred in Cape Town".

"We saw this as such an important game".

During the second test, Rabada was charged with a level two offence following an incident with Australian captain Steve Smith. A suspension could be more likely although one wonders if that is the requisite strong message needed to ensure this type of behaviour is not tolerated.

Former test batsman Simon Katich has no doubt what Sutherland's action should be - Smith and Lehmann must go.

Peter FitzSimons, author and commentator, writing Sunday in an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald, said what happened in South Africa was a "horror".

"They've got no option because this was premeditated and calculated at the break, and those guys are in charge of Cameron Bancroft behaving the way he did", Katich said on SEN Radio.

Former captain Michael Clarke hoped he was just dreaming when he first heard the news on Sunday.

A Tweet from December 2015 welcoming Smith, joining Socceroos star Tim Cahill, cricketer Brett Lee and surfing sensation Steph Gilmore, was also deleted.

"No I won't be considering stepping down as captain, I still think I'm the right person for the job", he explained. "It's disgraceful and it's not accepted by anyone".



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