Sports desk, Mar 28: Steve Smith and David Warner have been banned from playing for Australia for 12 months as a result of Cricket Australia’s investigation into the ball-tampering incident, the ABC’s chief cricket commentator Jim Maxwell understands.Maxwell said a source close to Smith had confirmed the bans to him.
“I understand that Steve Smith and David Warner are getting a 12-month ban from the game in Australia,” he said.
“I don’t know how that affects them elsewhere in the world, but I understand that is the nature of the penalty, the sanction as they like to call it.”
He said he does not know the fate of the third Australian sent home, opener Cameron Bancroft.
Cricket Australia (CA) is expected to confirm the penalties for all three players later today.
CA boss James Sutherland announced this morning that Warner, Smith and Bancroft would be sent home over their roles in the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked Australian cricket.
The scandal broke after Bancroft was caught on camera using tape to rough up the ball in the third Test in Cape Town.
Darren Lehmann remains as Australia’s coach, despite media reports he was set to resign over the ball-tampering incident, with wicket-keeper Tim Paine taking over as captain.
Matthew Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns have been named as replacements for Smith, Warner and Bancroft.
Sutherland said the saga was extraordinarily bad for cricket, but repeatedly refused to say whether the attempts to alter the match ball constituted cheating.
He apologised to the Australian public and said he shared the anger and disappointment of cricket supporters, especially children who idolise the players.
And he said the pressure had taken a heavy toll on Smith.
“He is destroyed, very upset,” Sutherland said.
Earlier this week, the International Cricket Council announced it would ban Smith for one match and fine him all of his match fee.
Bancroft was fined 75 per cent of his match fee and received three demerit points. But, it was not enough to satisfy critics of the team.
The ball-tampering scandal saw Bancroft attempt to hide the tape from umpires after appearing to run it over the ball.
The incident proved to be a crippling distraction for the team as they lost by a mammoth 322 runs at Newlands.
Smith initially confessed he and his leadership group instructed Bancroft to tamper with the ball on day three.
As vice-captain, Warner was a key cog in that leadership group. During his post-play press conference, Smith refused to “name names” when queried who in the leadership group discussed tampering with the ball.
But given the three players sent home, it would appear Smith’s phrasing referred to just himself and Warner.
The incident has also shaken the public’s trust in the team, for so long held up on a pedestal for its supposed hard-but-fair approach to the game.