Steve Smith was handed one Test match ban after he was involved in a ball-tampering scandal on the third day of the third Test match in Cape Town.
The South African team urged the ICC to come down hard on the Australians and give them adequate punishment. The ICC then handed Steve Smith one-match ban and fined Cameron Bancroft 75 percent of his match fees.
Former South African skipper Graeme Smith has said that ICC has been lenient on its punishment on Steve Smith. With growing calls for Smith to be permanently stripped of the captaincy amid uncertainty over his future as Cricket Australia continues to investigate, one of South Africa's greatest players questioned the ICC's sanction.
"I think that they [ICC] had an opportunity to set a precedent here," Graeme Smith told cricket.com.au. "I think it [Smith's punishment] is too lenient.
"It's something that he's admitted and that he's aware of and was a part of and that he planned to cheat. I felt the ICC had an opportunity and in my mind, they haven't dealt with it effectively."
"I know the ICC have stuck to the letter of their system but having captained before, the spirit of the game gets drummed down as a captain, and the ICC make a conscious effort before every series to make sure that as a leader you're aware of that and it's your responsibility."
As a result of his one-match ban, Smith will now miss the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers starting March 31.
"In many ways with what's going on it's probably not a bad thing," Graeme Smith said. "Yes, they're losing their best player and captain for a period of time now but there's so much focus and heat on him.
"I can only imagine what's going on behind the scenes in terms of chats and meetings with CA and the relevant people involved in sorting this out. From all accounts, it looks like Cricket Australia are going to take a pretty firm stance on this," concluded Smith.