Australian skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were suspended by Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday for 12 months each and Cameron Bancroft for nine months over a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner were the only people with any prior knowledge of the ball-tampering plot that has rocked Australian cricket, according to Cricket Australia (CA) CEO James Sutherland. "I want to make that point very clearly that Darren made those comments and Iain was certainly satisfied that Darren wasn't involved and didn't know anything of the plan". After that, all players from the team insisted to throw him out of the hotel.
Bancroft carried out the tampering on Saturday - roughing up one side of the ball - but botched it when he was caught by television cameras doing the tampering and then trying to hide the sandpaper down the front of his pants.
They were caught and forced to come clean, but their actions have outraged Australians, who hold their hugely successful cricket team dear. As the fourth test match is yet to be played, the replacements of these three cricketers have been announced in a press conference recently.
The unsavoury incident of the past week has left Australian cricket in a deep crisis.
Smith and Warner were supposed to captain their respective franchises Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in this edition but had stepped down in the wake of the scandal.
Smith and Warner received 12-month suspensions from all worldwide and domestic cricket, while Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension.
Cameron Bancroft of Australia adjusts the front of his pants during day 3 of the 3rd Sunfoil Test match between South Africa and Australia at PPC Newlands on March 24, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. "It has compromised the fans' faith in cricket and it's our responsibility to reinstate that confidence", Sutherland said. Earlier, Australia's prime minister called for an end to sledging in cricket, saying it was "right out of control" as he urged the sport to clean up its image amid a ball-tampering scandal.
Smith still has a slim chance to captain Australia again but Warner will not be considered at all.
Sutherland promised that the final fate of Smith, Warner and Bancroft would be known in the next 24 hours.