Steve Smith to remain Australia captain, says Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland after the ball tampering controversy

Steve Smith to remain Australia captain, says Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland after the ball tampering controversy

Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft admitted to tampering with the condition of the ball during the third day of the third Test against South Africa.

Steve Smith will remain the captain of the Australia cricket team for now, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said on Sunday though he admitted that he was “shocked and extremely disappointed” with the incident. Speaking at a press conference, the former Australian first-class cricketer said Cricket Australia will go through its processes.

Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith address the media after play on day three.(Source: Twitter)

“Steve Smith is currently the captain of the Australian team. We are working through our processes and once we get a clearer picture of the facts and then we will be able to make further comments,” Sutherland said.

Smith and Bancroft admitted to tampering the condition of the ball on the third day’s play of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday. Bancroft used a “yellow tape” to pick gravels from the pitch to rub on the ball.

Giving details into the action that has been taken on the players responsible so far, Sutherland said, “Cameron Bancroft was charged as per ICC code of conduct and accepted the charge and the penalty that came with it. He and Steve Smith spoke about the matter. Unfortunately, that cannot be the end of it and we have a responsibility to take it under and understand more about the issues.”

He further added that proper authorities will travel to South Africa to gather more information and evidence. “Head of Integrity Iain Roy and Head of Team Performance Pat Howard are heading to South Africa to gather all the information tomorrow and they will get the information we need to understand this matter,” he said.

Sutherland added that they will further make full comments after a thorough investigation. “It will be dealt with promptly and we will work very hard on the next couple of days to understand the full picture and make a full comment in due course,” he said.

Cameron Bancroft at a press conference on Saturday was admitted to tampering the ball using a piece of sticky yellow tape. Skipper Steve Smith added that he and other senior players came up with the idea to try and change the condition of the ball.

The former Australian test cricketer Simon Katich told Australian radio that Smith, vice-captain David Warner and head coach Darren Lehmann had “no option” but to resign or be sacked.

Shane Warne, speaking before Smith’s press conference where he admitted to ball-tampering, also tweeted that he was “very disappointed” with the footage broadcast last night, where Bancroft was seen to drop the tape into his underpants to hide it from the umpires.

Australian politicians including the Liberal senator Richard Colbeck, the National party MP Darren Chester and the Labor MP Andrew Giles called for Smith and the Australian team to be brought home. “Bring them all home, don’t want them representing my country! Tour over,” Colbeck tweeted.

Olympic skier David Morris said Smith’s actions had made “all Aussie athletes look bad”.

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