Australia's Smith, Warner and Bancroft sent home

The disgraced trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will head home from South Africa as a Cricket Australia (CA) probe found them having "prior knowledge" of the ball-tampering incident.

Cameron Bancroft caught with yellow tape.

"Darren Lehmann has not resigned or offered to step down as the coach of the team, and will continue in the capacity of coach with the team". Wicketkeeper Tim Paine, who led the team on the fourth day of the Newlands Test after Smith and Warner were stood down as captain and vice-captain, becomes the Test team's 46th leader but his further tenure will depend on the sanctions handed to Smith and Warner.

"The response from the public is not terribly surprising".

"The players involved have officially been reported for breaching Cricket Australia's code of conduct", he added. "On balance, we need to make a judgement that's in the best interests of the game and that will be based on a whole lot of things".

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reiterated Tuesday that it had been "a shocking affront to Australia" and Cricket Australia must act "decisively and emphatically".

The incident occurred on day 3 of the third Test match when Smith's teammate Bancroft was captured on camera rubbing the ball with a yellow article.

However, the Warner camp has denied the claims of him being the instigator, saying everyone, including the pace bowlers - Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were aware of the plan.

"I want to stress we are contemplating significant sanctions".


"To (o) many reputations on the line for the full story not to come out".

"However, urgency must be balanced with due process given the serious implications for all involved".

The opening batsman, who is one of the longest standing Australia players, has also removed himself from the team Whatsapp group.

"It is a very hard time for members of Australian cricket; however, I believe there is a golden opportunity to reset the dial around player and staff behaviours, actions and decision-making", he told reporters. "If this has damaged ability of kids to play the game, love the game and idolise their heroes, it is a sorry state and we need to do everything we can to address it", he said.

The controversy has sent the national side's worldwide reputation spiralling after opening batsman Bancroft was revealed to be roughing up the ball with a piece of tape on day three of the third Test in Cape Town. When the umpires asked him, he showed his empty pockets. The CA chairman, David Peever, said the saga was about far more than the technical details of the ball tampering itself.

The Australian team were mobbed by media as they left Cape Town and landed in Johannesburg on Tuesday. "This issue goes beyond the technical nature of the offences and various codes of conduct".

Meanwhile the Marylebone Cricket Club, the guardian of the laws of the game, has called for a "major shift in attitude" to preserve the game for future generations in the wake of the Australian team's ball-tampering fiasco.

Australia's David Warner, is seated on the team bus after the arrival of the Australian team to OR Tambo International International airport in Johannesburg.


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