Cheating saga ‘like a bank robbery gone wrong’

Steve Smith and David Warner stood down over ball tampering1:47

Captain Steve Smith and Vice-Captain David Warner have been stood down from their positions following an admission of ball tampering.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland has released a statement saying:

‘Following discussions with Steve Smith and David Warner they have agreed to stand down as Captain and Vice-Captain respectively for the remainder of this Test match.’

Tim Paine will captain the Australian Cricket team for the remainder of the test match in South Africa.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – MARCH 24: A disappointed Steve Smith after dropping Aiden Markram of South Africa 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. (Photo by Peter Heeger/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

SHANE Warne has joined the chorus of former players to slam Steve Smith and the Australian team in light of the ball-tampering saga.

As Australia took to the field for the fourth day of the third Test in Cape Town, Warne slammed the captain for his actions and also took aim at Cricket Australia for allowing Smith and Warner to stand down from leadership positions mid-match.

MATCH CENTRE: SOUTH AFRICA V AUSTRALIA LIVE SCORES HERE

Smith has been universally condemned after admitting he had authorised Cameron Bancroft to use tape to interfere with the ball in a bid to create reverse-swing.

Warne did not hold back when asked for his thoughts on the captain.

“I think there’s a lot of anger at the moment,” Warne said.

PODCAST: A Special Ball Tampering Crisis Episode

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“Forget the ball tampering issue, the bottom line for me is the captain sat there and took a decision to go out there and cheat.

“The hardest thing for me to accept is the captain went out there to get an unfair advantage against the laws of the game.

Australian Captain Steven Smith stands by stumps

Australian Captain Steven Smith stands by stumpsSource:AFP

“And at the end of the day he has to live with that for the rest of his life.”

Asked what he thought about the duo relinquishing their titles as captain and vice, Warne said any punishments should have waited until after play concluded on the fifth day.

MATCH CENTRE: SOUTH AFRICA V AUSTRALIA LIVE SCORES HERE

“There’s nothing you could say that can defend what the Australian did yesterday.

“Smith needs to take responsibility and be held accountable for that.

“I think Cricket Australia are trying to take a stance but I don’t want them to be too reactive.

“I think it’s wrong to stand Smith and Warner down during the match.”

Warne went on to say if Smith and Warner were dismissed from the team entirely then so be it but those kinds of decisions should have been left until after the third Test.

SMITH MUST BE SACKED:

A disgusted Simon Katich believes Cricket Australia (CA) has “no option” but to sack skipper Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and coach Darren Lehmann for allowing ball-tampering to occur.

Former Test batsman Katich said he was “sick to his stomach” when he woke up to the news from South Africa on Sunday morning.

Smith said he would not consider standing down despite admitting it was an orchestrated plan and CA CEO James Sutherland indicated the governing body needed to “gather relevant information” before making any calls on the future of those involved.

MATCH CENTRE: SOUTH AFRICA V AUSTRALIA LIVE SCORES HERE

Speaking before Sutherland’s press conference, Katich – who played 56 Tests for Australia between 2001 and 2010 – said they had to act faster. “I think when Cricket Australia front the media, they’ve got no option but to stand and then sack Smith, Warner and Lehmann,” Katich said on SEN Radio. “They’ve got no option because this was premeditated and calculated at the break and those guys are in charge of Cameron Bancroft behaving the way he did. “It’s a bigger problem than that, he’s been instructed to do this and anyone in cricket knows the captain and coach are in control of what happens in the team. “I love Steve Smith… but unfortunately he’s made a serious error and I think it’s going to cost him the captaincy of Australia.

Australian Captain Steven Smith stands by stumps

Australian Captain Steven Smith stands by stumpsSource:AFP

“If CA come out of this and condone sledging, they condone blatant cheating, then the message they send to the thousands of kids that they want to aspire to wear the baggy green is a far worse message than a few guys losing their jobs.” Smith denied Lehmann had any role to play in the incident but Katich doubted that was true.

FULL MEDIA CONFERENCE: Cricket Australia launches ball tampering investigation9:35

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland has held a media conference in response to the Australia ball-tampering scandal that is rocking the sport.

Mr Sutherland confirmed Cricket Australia is sending its head of integrity Iain Roy to investigate the incident.

The comments come as Cameron Bancroft confessed to ball tampering during the third cricket test against South Africa.

With AAP

“The footage I’ve seen with Darren Lehmann on the walkie-talkie to Peter Handscomb down on the boundary line trying to get a warning out to Cameron Bancroft that they were all over him… that to me indicates that he was clearly aware of what was going on,” Katich said.

“I just can’t believe the Test series has gone down to this level now. “I think back to when I was a kid and I had a poster up in my bedroom that I’d been given by my grandfather.

“It said ‘It matters not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game’. “I can’t help but think that that has been forgotten in this whole situation.”

Originally published as Warne criticises CA over Smith, Warner stand down

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