In order to carry out an inclusive investigation into the ball-tampering saga, Cricket Australia has decided to send its Chief Executive James Sutherland to South Africa.
As per Cricket Australia’s press release, the culprits of this scandal will be known by Wednesday. Sutherland will arrive in Johannesburg on Tuesday morning to meet senior legal counsel and Head of Integrity Iain Roy and general manager of team performance Pat Howard.
“Iain Roy and Pat Howard arrive in Cape Town this morning local time, and Iain will immediately conduct his inquiries around the specifics of the ball tampering incident. I am travelling to Johannesburg this evening and will arrive Tuesday morning local time to meet Iain to understand the findings of the investigation to that point, and to determine recommended outcomes. We know Australians want answers and we will keep you updated on our findings and next steps, as a matter of urgency,” Cricket Australia’s statement quoted Sutherland as saying.
CA chairman David Peever also released a statement, saying: “The Cricket Australia Board has been fully updated on the issue and supports James travelling to South Africa to manage the response to the investigation currently underway.”
“We expect to be able to fully update the Australian public on the findings on Wednesday morning (Tuesday evening in Johannesburg). We understand that everyone wants answers, but we must follow our due diligence before any further decisions are made,” he added.
It is pertinent to mention here that Roy had arrived in Cape Town on Monday and has already begun the probe.
In a shocking press conference after the third day's play in Cape Town, Australia skipper Smith had admitted that the entire ball-tampering saga was a deliberate plan from the “leadership group” of the side. Moreover, he had apologized and tried to convince everyone that this was the first time it had happened under his captaincy.
Subsequently, Smith was handed a one-match suspension and fined 100% of his match fee by the ICC while rookie opener Cameron Bancroft was penalized 75 percent of his match fee and awarded three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct.
Meanwhile, the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s reaction has fuelled fire to this scandal. On Sunday (March 25), the Aussie PM had used some harsh words on Smith and company.
“We all work 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,” Malcolm Turnbull had said.
“After all, our cricketers are role models and cricket is synonymous with fair play. How can our team be engaged in cheating like this? It beggars belief. It’s wrong, and I look forward to Cricket Australia taking decisive action soon,” he added.