Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will fly back to Australia and Mathew Renshaw, Joe Burns and Glenn Maxwell will replace them in the Australian squad for the fourth and final Test match at Johannesburg. Tim Paine will continue to lead the side as the interim captain, announced Cricket Australia.
Terming it as an isolated incident, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland made it clear that only Smith, Warner and Bancroft had prior knowledge of the ball-tampering incident that shook the cricketing world during the third day’s play at Cape Town.
"All three players will leave on Wednesday. Renshaw, Maxwell and Burns will arrive in South Africa in the next 24 hours," Sutherland announced at a packed media conference.
Coach Darren Lehmann will continue in the position as he had no knowledge according to CA's preliminary inquiry.
"Contrary to reports Darren has not resigned, he had no prior knowledge," said Sutherland.
However, Sutherland did not disclose the sanction leveled on the three players.
"Clearly we are not at all comfortable with what has taken place. Sanctions will be issued tomorrow and they will be significant. These sanctions will reflect the gravity of what occurred and the damage it has done Australian cricket. Urgency must be balanced with due process," Sutherland added.
The disgraced Australian duo of Smith and Warner is not just staring at an ouster from IPL but is also also facing the prospect of missing the India series later this year, as speculations over a length ban for ball tampering gained credence.
The drama unfolded in the 43rd over of South African second innings when Australian opener Cameron Bancroft in multiple video footages was spotted holding a yellow sticky tape. In one of the captured footage Bancroft was seen rubbing the rough side of the ball with the yellow tape. Soon after broadcasters displayed the images on the big screen at Newlands, Bancroft clumsily shoved the tape down into the front of his trousers. Umpires after looking at the images confronted the 25-year-old but Bancroft instead produced black sunglass bag from his pockets post which the umpires allowed play to continue.
Later in the day, in a scintillating post match presser captain Steve Smith along with Bancroft confessed using yellow sticky tape and grit from the pitch to work on the ball attempting to shine it.
Smith also admitted that the leadership group knew about plan from the start and the conspiracy was hatched in their presence during the lunch break on Day 3 of the Test.
- - - - - - - - - Advertisement- - - - - - - - -