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In what has been an aggressive series between South Africa and Australia, took a turn for the worst last weekend in Cape Town, when Australian captain Steve Smith, announced after Saturday’s play, that the side had tampered with the ball in a pre-meditated plan.

The fall-out and conclusion, which has brought shame on Cricket Australia, the Cricket world and sport in general, has made headlines since, and has seen one-year bans given to captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner, and a 9 month ban given to the player who was caught on TV tampering with the ball – Cameron Bancroft.

Not since Pakistan’s tour in 2006 at the Oval, when the team were taken off the field after being accused of similar practices and then in 2010 when bans were given after spot-fixing bets were found to be happening in the England and Pakistan series, have we seen such a huge drama on the cricket field.

Captain Smith afterwards on Saturday admitted that a ‘leadership group’ of him and Warner planned to tamper with the ball, which see Bancroft take sticky tape out of his pocket and rub the ball with. TV cameras soon picked up on this, and subsequently it was found to be sandpaper to rough one side of the ball up.

The game was up, both on and off the field after Saturday night in Cape Town. Smith immediately stepped down as captain passing it over to wicketkeeper Tim Paine for the remainder of the test. Not that it mattered. Sunday’s play see Smith booed when he came out to bat, as Australia hardly put up a fight and were bowled out to lose the test by 322 runs.

The three players who have already flown back to Australia, have been told that they can still play domestic cricket, but for Smith and Warner, it is a loss of big salary contracts outside Australian cricket.

The Indian Premier League, which begins next month has seen Warner step down as skipper of Sunrisers Hyderabad whilst Smith did the same at Rajasthan Royals, where both roles were said to have had contracts of over £1 million.

Speaking to the media this week, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland, announced that Smith would not be considered as captain for Australia for at least 2 years and that Warner will not be considered for any leadership roles in the future as he said all three were “sad, disappointed and remorseful.”

Sutherland was also keen to talk of coach Darren Lehmann who, according to reports, think he was as much involved in the actions of the ‘leadership group’ plans on Saturday, as the trio, especially when he was caught on camera talking in the walkie-talkie to the 12th man, before he headed out on the pitch.

“I want to make that point very clear. Darren is the coach. He continues as coach under his current contract, “ added Sutherland.


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