Australia captain Smith banned amid ball-tampering investigation

Smith also stripped of captaincy for the remainder of the Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

    Australia captain Steve Smith has been given a one-match ban and fined 100 percent of his match fee for his part in ball-tampering incident during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

    Australia opener Cameron Bancroft has been fined 75 percent of his match fee and handed three demerit points after he was caught on camera tampering with the ball on day three of the Test.

    Earlier, Cricket Australia announced Smith and Warner were removed as captain and vice-captain of the Australian team for the remainder of the Test against South Africa following the ball-tampering revelations that plunged the Test team into crisis.

    Smith and Warner, however, will still take the field for the last two days of the Test in Cape Town with wicketkeeper Tim Paine taking over the captaincy.

    Former players and pundits have demanded Smith give up the captaincy for “blatant cheating” in the wake of the revelations during the third Test.

    Smith has said he was “embarrassed” by the scandal but had no intention of stepping down as skipper.

    Opening batsman Bancroft, the most junior member in the side at 25, was tasked with implementing the plan and was duly caught on camera using the tape.

    The cost to Australia’s reputation is immeasurably higher, however, with former players across the globe branding the team cheats and fans castigating the players on social media.

    Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the incident a “shocking disappointment” and said he had urged CA Chairman David Peever to take prompt and decisive action.

    “I have to say that the whole nation which holds those who wear the ‘baggy green’ up on a pedestal about as high as you can get in Australia, certainly higher than any politician that’s for sure, this is a shocking disappointment,” he told reporters.

    “It’s wrong and I look forward to Cricket Australia taking decisive action soon.”

    Smith, who has led the team since 2015 and is their best batsman, confessed to reporters in Cape Town on Saturday that the ball-tampering had been orchestrated by himself and senior players.

    “I can’t believe the senior players have made a decision to do that,” he told Australian television. “It’s disgraceful and it’s not accepted by anyone.”

    The Australian Sports Commission said it condemned “cheating” of any form in sport and asked for Smith “to be stood down” while CA completes an investigation. 

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