The International Cricket Coucil (ICC) today handed over Australian skipper Steve Smith one match suspension and 100 per cent of match fee following his admission that he was part of a decision to change the condition of the ball so as to gain an unfair advantage during the Third Test Match against South Africa. The board has also awarded Cameron Bancroft a 75 per cent fine and three demerit points for the incident.
Earlier in the day, Cricket Australia had announced that Steve Smith and David Warner would be stepping down as captain and vice-captain for rest of Australia’s third Test match against Proteas. There have been demands for Smith to be sacked as skipper after he admitted being part of the plan to change the condition of the ball on the third day of the Test match in Newlands yesterday.
“Following discussions with Steve Smith and David Warner they have agreed to stand down as captain and vice-captain respectively for the remainder of this Test match,” CA chief James Sutherland said in a statement.
He had also said that Tim Paine would lead the side as acting captain for the remaining part of the Test match. “This Test match needs to proceed, and in the interim we will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands,” he added.
Sutherland also announced a probe into the incident that led Australian cricket into a crisis and resulted in widespread criticism in the country as also abroad, including from country’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Ian Roy, CA’s head of integrity and head of team performance Pat Howard would be in South Africa to conduct the probe.
“All Australians, like us, want answers and we will keep you updated on our findings, as a matter of priority,” the CA head added as per AFP.
Footage from television showed Smith’s teammate Cameron Bancroft taking a yellow object from his pocket while fielding and rubbing it on the ball.Bancroft was later charged with trying to change the condition of the ball.