Ball tampering row: Smith, Warner, Bancroft suspended, sent back to Australia
Melbourne : In wake of the ball-tampering controversy, Australian cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been suspended from the fourth Test against South Africa in Johannesburg, Cricket Australia (CA) announced on Tuesday.
After a CA investigation, the trio were found guilty of breaching article 2.3.5 of Cricket Australia's Code of Conduct and will fly to Australia on Wednesday, according to cricket.com.au.
In their absence, Tim Paine has been appointed as the interim captain while Matthew Renshaw, Joe Burns and Glenn Maxwell have been called up as their replacements.
However, head coach Darren Lehmann will continue his tenure as per his contract.
Addressing the reporters in Johannesburg, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said their sanctions on Smith, Warner and Bancroft will be revealed in the next 24 hours.
"Clearly we are not at all comfortable with what has taken place. Sanctions will be issued tomorrow and they will be significant," Sutherland said.
About Smith and Warner's participation in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League, Sutherland said the participation will depend on the sanctions and what the Indian board, BCCI makes of it.
The incident took place on the third day of the third Test, when 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 his captain Smith by the two on-field umpires Richard Illingworth and Nigel Llong.
The on-field officials along with third umpire Ian Gould and fourth umpire Allahudien Palekar later charged Bancroft.
Smith and Bancroft admitted to the offence after play on the day, and Bancroft was charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for altering the condition of the ball.
A contrite Smith and Bancroft later addressed a press conference, admitting to ball-tampering and apologised for their actions