Steve Smith and David Warner have been handed 12-month bans by Cricket Australia for their role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
Cameron Bancroft, who admitted to rubbing a small piece of yellow paper on the ball during the third Test against South Africa before hiding it in his trousers, got a nine-month ban from the Australian board.
Smith, Warner and Bancroft are set to fly back to Australia on Wednesday. Smith is scheduled to address the media on arrival, according to reports. Smith and Warner’s 12-month bans mean they will miss the Australian summer of cricket this year, which includes a high-profile Test series against India. They will, however, be back in time for the World Cup and the Ashes next year.
Australia’s head coach Darren Lehmann was on Tuesday given the clean chit by Cricket Australia in the ball-tampering controversy, while captain Smith, Warner and Bancroft were announced as the only three accused.
Matthew Renshaw, Joe Burns and Glenn Maxwell will replace the three players in the Test squad for the fourth and final match. Tim Paine, who took over as captain after Smith temporarily stepped down, will continue to lead the side.
Sutherland said that Smith, Warner and Bancroft were the only people in the Australian camp who had prior knowledge of the ball-tampering incident. No one else was aware, including Lehmann and the rest of the support staff, Sutherland revealed. He also said that Lehmann had not resigned as head coach and will continue in his position.
According to Cricket Australia’s investigation, the plan to tamper with the ball was devised by Warner, who also instructed Bancroft on how to carry it out. Smith knew of “a potential plan” of ball tampering and failed to “take steps to seek to prevent the development and implementation of that plan”, according to a CA release:
Smith had already been suspended for one Test and docked his entire match fee by the International Cricket Council in a scandal which has seen Australian cricket’s reputation dragged through the mud.