Ball-Tampering Row: Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft To Return Home; Tim Paine Appointed Captain
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland on Tuesday announced that the Australian trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will return home immediately. Sutherland also said Darren Lehmann will continue as Australia coach.
Australia captain Steve Smith will be sent home from the tour of South Africa for his role in the ball-tampering scandal, but coach Darren Lehmann will remain in charge, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said on Tuesday while addressing the media in Johannesburg. Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, the player caught on camera attempting to doctor the ball with a piece of tape, will all return home and not feature in the fourth and final Test against South Africa starting Friday.
"I understand and share the anger and disappointment of Australian fans," Sutherland said at a press conference in Johannesburg.
"On behalf of Cricket Australia, I want to apologise to all Australians that these events have taken place, especially to all the kids," he added.
Sutherland also said that coach Darren Lehmann had no knowledge of the plans to tamper the ball and therefore will continue to coach the team.
With Smith leaving South Africa, Cricket Australia has named Tim Paine as the captain of the Australian Test team. The Cricket Australia Board has received preliminary findings of the investigation into last weekend's events in Cape Town involving the Australian cricket team. Following this, Sutherland has officially reported Smith, Warner and Bancroft for breaching article 2.3.5 of Cricket Australia's Code of Conduct.
Matthew Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns have been named their replacements.
"All three players reported will depart South Africa tomorrow. The 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," Cricket Australia release said.
The sanctions on Smith, Warner and Bancroft are expected to 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. The process must, therefore, be thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined," 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.
"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," Sutherland concluded.
Cricket Australia Chairman, David Peever said: "We understand and share the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about the events that unfolded in Cape Town on Saturday."
"This issue goes beyond the technical nature of the offences and various codes of conduct. It is about the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport.
"Ultimately, it is about whether Australians can feel proud of their national sporting teams.
"That depends as much on the way the players conduct themselves, as it does about winning or losing.
"It is about how we play the game," Peever concluded.