Moosajee: No investigation into ball tampering from CSA

Steve Smith and David Warner will stand down as captain and vice-captain for rest of Australia's third Test match against South Africa, Cricket Australia said on Sunday as it investigates a ball-tampering scandal.

"The statement from them said it was the "leadership group" and therefore it was quite a few people involved so we'll see how the ICC deals with the situation".

The stand-in captain, Tim Paine, apologised for the ball-tampering incident during the post-match presentations. "Really freakish, strange, awful 24 hours".

"They're not great. It's been a frightful 24 hours, they're struggling but probably the reality and the enormity of what's happened is starting to sink in", Paine said.

Sutherland said the tampering scandal was a "very sad day for Australian cricket" and he was "extremely disappointed and shocked".

"This Test match needs to proceed, and in the interim we will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands", added Sutherland. I'm embarrassed. I feel for Cam.

The long-term futures of Smith and Warner are surely in the balance after the captain confessed that he was part of a group of senior players who hatched a plan to cheat against South Africa on Day 3 of the Test on Saturday by tampering with the ball.

Bancroft appeared alongside Smith to confess that he was the man who did the on-field tampering.

The sanctions come after footage emerged of Australia opener Bancroft using a foreign object on the ball and then hiding it down his pants.

After the close of play Smith admitted he and the team's "leadership group" had known about the plan. Alongside the ban, Smith has been fined 100 per cent of his match fee.

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"You have to remember that this Australia team are so friendless in cricket because of the way they've carried on, and especially Warner", he told BBC 5 Live. Australian media have been asking tough questions over how much Lehmann knew about the plot.

"By his own actions, Smith's position as captain is untenable". But his admissions provoked widespread calls for the 28-year-old, who took "responsibility" for "a big mistake", to stand down.

Will they muzzle David Warner, the designated alpha-dog of the Australian team, champion sledger and resident agent provocateur, before he does himself and his country serious harm? Our cricketers are role models and cricket is synonymous with fair play.

The "friendless" Australian cricket team and under-fire captain Steve Smith have been described as a "train wreck" as the sport comes to terms with their ball-tampering confession. The move followed a phone conversation between Smith and Sutherland.

"This can occur while Cricket Australia completes a full investigation", it added. "Some of the stuff that has come out of the Australian camp, especially, has been laughable".

First, the ICC ruling which landed on Sunday.

The ball-tampering issue surfaced when a footage showed a small, yellow object in Bancroft's hands after he had worked on the ball.

"We are in the middle of a game and that game needs to conclude but in course of next couple of days we'll get to the bottom of this".

The suspension means Smith will miss the final Test against South Africa.

While the world is laughing at Australia's misery, simply because they are masters at dishing it out and poor at copping it, this is no laughing matter.

  • Lawrence Cooper