Cricket Australia (CA), the national governing body, on Tuesday ordered Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, now in South Africa for the Test series, to return home for their roles in the ball tampering scandal. CA announced replacements for them for the upcoming fourth and final Test. The replacements are Matthew Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns while Tim Paine was confirmed as captain.
CA took this decision after receiving preliminary findings of its investigation into last weekend’s events during the third Test in Cape Town involving the ball tampering scandal. “Sanctions are expected to be announced within the next 24 hours. The preliminary findings have confirmed that prior knowledge of the incident in Cape Town was confined to only the three players reported,” said a CA statement.
Following the preliminary findings, CA CEO James Sutherland officially reported Smith, Warner and Bancroft for breaching article 2.3.5 of Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct, a CA statement said. “All three players reported will depart South Africa tomorrow. The replacement players will fly to Johannesburg over the next 24 hours to join the squad for the fourth Test against South Africa,” it said.
“We understand and share the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about the events that unfolded in Cape Town on Saturday. This issue goes beyond the technical nature of the offences and various codes of conduct. It is about the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport. Ultimately, it is about whether Australians can feel proud of their national sporting teams. That depends as much on the way the players conduct themselves, as it does about winning or losing. It is about how we play the game,” CA chairman David Peever said.
Sutherland said that in view of the broader reputational and integrity issues involved, the sanctions that will be contemplated are significant. “The process must therefore be thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined. I understand the appetite for urgency given the reputation of Australia as a sporting nation has been damaged in the eyes of many. However, urgency must be balanced with due process given the serious implications for all involved,” he said.
“In addition to sanctions for individuals, Cricket Australia will initiate an independent review into the conduct and culture of our Australian men’s teams. We will have more to say about this review in the coming days, but it will be conducted by an expert panel who will report to the CA Board,” he concluded.