UPDATE @ March 29: Cricket Australia has handed down its punishment on the three players involved in the ball-tampering scandal which rocked the country.
Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have copped a 12-month ban from international and domestic cricket, while opening batsman Cameron Bancroft has been suspended for 9 months.
Smith and Bancroft won’t be considered for leadership roles for another year, whilst Warner won’t be considered for team leadership positions in the future.
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In addition, all three players will also be required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket.
Cricket Australia said in a statement released overnight that knowledge of the incident was purely confined to just the trio and that head coach Darren Lehmann was no way involved.
The statement also revealed that Warner instructed Bancroft “carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper”.
Cricket Australia said the trio will be permitted to play club cricket and will be encouraged to do so to maintain links with the cricket community.
CEO James Sutherland said he is “satisfied that the sanctions in this case properly reflect a balance between the need to protect the integrity and reputation of the game and the need to maintain the possibility of redemption for the individuals involved.”
EARLIER @ March 28: Australian Cricket captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft have been sent home from South Africa following the Aussie ball-tampering scandal which has caused outrage around the world.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland addressed media on Wednesday, stating the Cricket Australia Board has received preliminary findings of the investigation into last weekend’s events in Cape Town.
As a result, Sutherland said the trio have been reported for breaching article 2.3.5 of Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct.
“All three players reported will depart South Africa tomorrow,” he said.
It’s expected further sanctions will be announced within the next 24 hours.
“In view of the broader reputational and integrity issues involved, the sanctions that will be contemplated are significant,” Sutherland said.
“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.”
Three new replacement players will fly to Johannesburg over the next 24 hours to join the squad for the Fourth Test against South Africa.
The three replacement players are Matthew Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns.