ICC handed Steve Smith a one Test ban and fined him 100% of his match fees and Cameron Bancroft got 75% match fees fine, along with three demerit points for their roles in "changing the condition of the ball in order to gain an unfair advantage" on third day of the Cape Town Test against South Africa.
Now according to a report on ESPNCricinfo.com, Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner could face punishment upto life ban under the behavior code of Cricket Australia. Smith’s future as captain is also in doubt, as he and Warner stepped down from their leadership roles for the third Test.
"We all woke up this morning shocked and bitterly disappointed by the news from South Africa. It seemed completely beyond belief that the Australian cricket team had been involved in cheating," Australia PM Turnbull told reporters.
Smith will miss the fourth Test against the Proteas. "The decision made by the leadership group of the Australian team to act in this way is clearly contrary to the spirit of the game, risks causing significant damage to the integrity of the match, the players and the sport itself and is therefore 'serious' in nature," aid ICC chief executive David Richardson.
"As captain, Steve Smith must take full responsibility for the actions of his players and it is appropriate that he be suspended," he added.
"To carry a foreign object on to the field of play with the intention of changing the condition of the ball to gain an unfair advantage over your opponent is against not only the laws, but the spirit of the game as well," said ICC refereeing chief Andy Pycroft.
Wicketkeeper Tim Paine captained the Australian side in remainder of Proteas batting innings.
Cricket Australia (CA) chief James Sutherland had issued an apology to fans earlier on Sunday. He said, “To our Australian cricket fans, we are sorry. This behavior calls into question the integrity of the team and Cricket Australia."
"We know how you feel and have heard your feedback loud and clear. We share your anger and disappointment," added Sutherland.
Steve Smith has admitted he was wrong and also took responsibility for the actions of Cameron Bancroft. He also said that he was involved in the planning of this whole thing.
“From my understanding of the rules, if there was evidence for everyone to see, they should have changed the ball and awarded a five-run penalty," South African team manager Mohammed Moosajee said.