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Cheating revelations sees Steve Smith stand down as Australia captain for rest of Cape Town Test
Cricket Australia has announced that Steve Smith has stood down as Australia captain for the remainder of the third Test against South Africa after admitting his team deliberately tampered with the ball.
The vice captain David Warner has also stood down.
Both Smith and Warner will continue to play in the rest of the third Test, but wicketkeeper Tim Paine will act as captain for the remaining two days of play.
Having earlier in the day advised that no action would be taken pending an investigation, Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland said in a statement on Sunday night "this Test match needs to proceed, and in the interim we will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands.
“As I said earlier today, Cricket Australia and Australian cricket fans expect certain standards of conduct from cricketers representing our country, and on this occasion these standards have not been met.
"All Australians, like us, want answers and we will keep you updated on our findings, as a matter of priority.”
Earlier, after widespread calls for Smith to be sacked, a “shocked and disappointed” Sutherland said no action would be taken until an investigation had run its course.
Smith had also initially said he had no intention of stepping down, saying he was still “the right person for the job”.
Cricket Australia Chairman Bill Peever said the board fully supported the impending investigation into events in Cape Town.
Peever advised "we regard this as a matter of the utmost seriousness and urgency. We will ensure we have all information available to make the right decisions for Australian cricket."
In a stunning press conference at stumps on day three at Newlands, Smith admitted to overseeing ball tampering after batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera applying a piece of tape to the ball in an attempt to scuff it. When told the incident had been captured on camera, Bancroft sought to hide the object down his trousers, only for him to be caught out by the cameras once again. The young opener has been charged by match officials.
The incident and Smith’s subsequent admission led to calls for the captain’s immediate sacking from a number of quarters including the Australian Sports Commission.
Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull also weighed in, saying Smith’s behaviour was “beyond belief” and that he was looking forward to “decisive action” being taken.
Prime Minister Turnbull had also spoken to Peever, apparently having a "frank discussion" with the Cricket Australia Chairman about the scandal on Sunday afternoon.
He advised "I have expressed to him very clearly and unequivocally my disappointment and my
Meanwhile, the former Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist called the side the “laughing stock” of world cricket and has called Smith’s long term future into question.
Speaking on Network Ten, Gilchrist stated “I’m really sad, shocked, stunned - I’m not trying to over-dramatise it but ... the integrity of Australian cricket is the laughing stock of world sport.
“This clearly is against the laws of the game and we’ve just had our national captain and our national team admit that they sat down, premeditated and pre-planned a way to cheat. I’m not sure he (Smith) can remain captain.
“I think it’s a pretty tough position to hold after you’ve admitted to what you’ve admitted to.”
Image: Australian Vice-Captain David Warner (left) and Captain Steve Smith have both stood down from their roles during the third Test against South Africa.
25th March 2018 - AUSTRALIAN SPORTS COMMISSION CALLS FOR STEVE SMITH TO BE STOOD DOWN
25th March 2018 - AUSTRALIAN CRICKET IN TURMOIL OVER BALL-TAMPERING SCANDAL
9th February 2018 - ICC FINDS NO EVIDENCE OF MATCH-FIXING IN ASHES TEST
3rd Janauary 2018 - ICC CLASSIFIES MCG PITCH AS ‘POOR’ AFTER DRAWN ASHES TEST
2nd August 2017 - CRICKET AUSTRALIA AND PLAYERS’ UNION REACH LANDMARK PAY DEAL
28th April 2017 - PLAYERS REJECT CRICKET AUSTRALIA PAY OFFER
27th October 2016 - PROFIT DOWNTURN PRESENTS CHALLENGES FOR CRICKET AUSTRALIA
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