Ball tampering: Australia national cricket team captain Steve Smith and Vice-captain David Warner have been banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia on the charges of planning to tamper the ball to gain reverse swing. Cameron Bancroft, who performed the act of tampering, has been banned for nine months. Smith is also banned from captaining the team for 12 months and David Warner is been banned from captaincy for life.
The ban is applied from immediate effect and the trio will be heading back to Australia soon as they are no more a part of the Australian team for the final Test against South Africa. Matt Ranshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns are the replacements for the three players. Meanwhile Tim Paine will lead the Australian team for this Test.
Cricket Australia declared the sanctions after investigating the ball tampering issue. Their investigation found that the entire plan was conceived by David Warner and he gave a demonstration of how to do tampering using sandpaper to Bancroft. Smith knew about the plan and he took complete participation in it while Bancroft was the player who carried out act of tampering the ball.
The investigation report also found that Smith and Bancroft lied in the press conference by saying that they used a sticky paper for carrying out the act.
All three players have the option of challenging their sanctions within seven days but it is unluckily that Smith and Bancroft would take that route. Warner who has faced the most severe sanctions among the three is reported to be thinking about challenging the sanctions.
The ball tampering issue happened on day three of the Port Elizabeth Test. Cameras caught Bancroft applying a foreign object on the ball which he later shoved into his trousers. Later Smith accepted the ball tampering charges and said the decision was taken by the leadership group.