Australia captain Steve Smith has been banned for one match and fined his entire match fee by ICC for his part in a ball-tampering incident in South Africa. Cameron Bancroft was handed a 75 percent match fee fine and three demerit points for ball-tampering.
Players who accumulate four demerit points in a two-year period receive a one-match ban, while those who get eight in the same 24-month period are banned for two matches.
The ball-tampering incident took place on the third day in Cape Town. Television footage showed Bancroft take what he said was a yellow tape out of his trouser pocket before rubbing the ball.
Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh rebuked the world's cricket body for letting off Australian opener Bancroft with only a fine of 75 percent of his match fee and termed the step as discrimination.
In the 2001 South Africa Test, Harbhajan along with Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly, Shiv Sunder Das and Deep Dasgupta faced bans for various offenses. The spinner also mentioned about Monkey gate in his tweet.
"wow @ICC wow. Great treatment nd FairPlay. No ban for Bancroft with all the evidence whereas 6 of us were banned for excessive appealing in South Africa 2001 without any evidence and Remember Sydney 2008? Not found guilty and banned for 3 matches.different people different rules," Harbhajan said in a tweet.
wow @ICC wow. Great treatment nd FairPlay. No ban for Bancroft with all the evidences whereas 6 of us were banned for excessive appealing in South Africa 2001 without any evidence and Remember Sydney 2008? Not found guilty and banned for 3 matches.different people different rules— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) March 25, 2018
Former England captain Michael Vaughan too was critical of ICC's decision.
"1 Match Ban & 100 % March fee Fine for Smith #ffs ... 75% match fee fine for Bancroft and some bloody De merit points for Bancroft ... Pathetic penalties for CHEATING ... Surely this moment was the time to set a precedent ... !!?? All the team should be penalised," he said on Twitter.