CA to conduct ball tampering probe

MNA Sports Desk: Australia captain Steve Smith was fighting to save his job and reputation on Sunday after admitting he was the chief plotter in the ball-tampering scandal which has plunged the game into crisis and sparked a Cricket Australia probe.

Smith insisted he will not quit after teammate Cameron Bancroft was caught using a yellow object to alter the condition of the ball on Saturday’s third day of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands.

But the matter could yet be taken out of Smith’s hands after Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed Sunday that they were sending a team led by their head of integrity to Cape Town to investigate the scandal before deciding on a course of action.

CA chief executive James Sutherland said they were “extremely disappointed and shocked”, but added that the governing body wanted to get a clearer picture of the facts before making any decisions and for now Smith would remain captain.

“I understand that that is not necessarily the fullness of response that everyone is looking for right now. But you will appreciate that there’s an element of process that needs to be undertaken here,” Sutherland told reporters in Melbourne.

“We will work very hard over the next couple of days to get to the bottom of it—to understand the big picture, to understand the detail and to be making further comment on that in due course.”

Smith said after play Saturday he would not quit. “I still think I’m the right person for the job,” he told reporters.

But calls were growing for the 28-year-old to stand down after he admitted he was the mastermind of the premeditated plan hatched during the lunch break.

“The leadership group knew about it. We spoke about it at lunch. I’m not proud of what happened. It’s not in the spirit of the game,” said Smith who took over the captaincy from Michael Clarke in 2015.

“Obviously today was a big mistake on my behalf and the leadership group’s behalf as well, but I take responsibility.”

Television footage showed Bancroft, 25, take a yellow object out of his pocket while fielding in the post-lunch session and appearing to rub it on the ball.

 “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I want to be accountable for my actions,” said the opening batsman.

Smith insisted that coach Darren Lehmann was not part of the conspiracy even though footage appeared to show the coach sending a message onto the field with 12th man Peter Handscomb after the first footage of the incident.


Check Also

Liton Das

Liton, Tamim tons script Bangladesh’s series sweep

MNA Sports Desk: Liton Das struck a highest individual score by a Bangladeshi batsman while ...

Scroll Up