Melbourne: Four days after they were exposed, Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday suspended disgraced captain Steve Smith and vice captain David Warner for 12 months each and opener Cameron Bancroft for nine months over a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
According to a CA statement, Smith and Bancroft were banned from leadership positions for 12 months after completing their one-year ban from international and domestic cricket.
Warner has, however, been banned from all leadership positions in Australian cricket for life.
The three will be allowed to play club cricket and were encouraged by CA to do so “to maintain links with the cricket community”.
They were “required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket”.
Cricket Australia’s investigation found Warner responsible for “development of a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball” and “instruction to a junior player to carry out a plan”.
The southpaw was also charged with providing advice to a junior player on how to tamper with the ball “including demonstrating how it could be done”.
Warner also mislead the Newlands match officials by concealing his knowledge of and involvement in the plan and did not voluntarily report his involvement.
Meanwhile, Smith’s ban was based on him knowing of the plan but failing to take steps to prevent it. Further, the probe found that it was Smith who directed “that evidence of attempted tampering be concealed on the field of play” – in other words, Smith told Bancroft to hide the yellow object now known to be sandpaper in his trousers.
Smith was also found to have “mislead match officials and others regarding Bancroft’s attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball” and “misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent and participants of the plan”.
The incident took place on the third day of the third Test on March 24 in Cape Town.
Bancroft was caught on camera using what is believed to be a tape before attempting to hide the object down the front of his pants moments before the umpires seemingly inquired about the contents of his pockets.
Television footage later showed Bancroft rubbing the ball and then seemingly putting an object back in his pocket.
As soon as the incident was shown on the giant screen, the player was questioned in the presence of Smith by the on-field umpires Richard Illingworth and Nigel Llong.
The CA Board, comprising Chairman David Peever, Earl Eddings, Bob Every, John Harnden, Tony Harrison, Jacquie Hey and Michelle Tredenick, as well as former Test players Mark Taylor and Michael Kasporwicz, convened on Wednesday to determine the sanctions imposed on the guilty trio.
Following the announcement, Cricket Australia has appointed wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine as the Test captain on full-time basis.