The ball tampering controversy is slowly but surely gaining international infamy. After Australia captain Steve Smith admitted that he had the knowledge of Cameron Bancroft’s actions to tamper with the ball during the third Test against South Africa; the Australian government has called for his removal from captaincy role.
Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo, “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.”
He further said, “I’ve spoken with David Peever, the Chairman of Cricket Australia, a few moments ago and I’ve expressed to him very clearly and unequivocally my disappointment and my concern about the events in South Africa. It’s their responsibility to deal with it, but I have to say that (to) the whole nation, who holds those who wear the Baggy Green up on a pedestal, about as high as you can get in Australia this is a shocking disappointment. It’s wrong, and I look forward to Cricket Australia taking decisive action soon.”
Australia Sports Commission (ASC) Chair John Wylie, the ASC Board and CEO, on behalf of the Australian government, demanded the removal of Steve Smith as the captain of the cricket team and said in a statement, “The ASC condemns cheating of any form in sport. The ASC expects and requires that Australian teams and athletes demonstrate unimpeachable integrity in representing our country.”
“Given the admission by Australian captain Steve Smith, the ASC calls for him to be stood down immediately by Cricket Australia, along with any other members of the team leadership group or coaching staff who had prior awareness of, or involvement in, the plan to tamper with the ball. This can occur while Cricket Australia completes a full investigation,” the statement added.
Steve Smith admitted to his role in the incident, after Bancroft admitted to using the yellow tape to tamper with the ball.
Smith said, “We spoke about it at Lunch and I’m not proud of it. It’s not within the spirit of the game, my integrity or the team’s integrity, the leadership group’s integrity has all come to question and rightly so. It’s not on and it certainly won’t happen again I can promise you that.”