The ball tampering scandal perpetrated by the Australian team in an effort to win the third Test against South Africa at Cape Town may have far reaching effects that one might have thought. There are also reports of many senior players distancing themselves from the whole saga.
Reports are suggesting that Steve Smith and David Warner, the captain and vice-captain of the Australian team are likely to be banned for their roles in the ball tampering scandal, which resulted in a one Test ban and 100% match fees fine for Smith and 75% match fees ban, along with three demerit points for Cameron Bancroft, who carried out the actual act.
Calls for a proper and swift action against the ones involved in the preparation of the plan, the Australian team’s ‘leadership group’, as admitted by Steve Smith in the press conference; was called by the Australian government and sponsors of Australian team.
Smith meanwhile stepped down from captaincy and so did Warner, from his role as vice-captain of the team. Smith was also replaced by his IPL franchise, the Rajasthan Royals as captain, who named Ajinkya Rahane, as his replacement.
India Today has reported about the facts of the ball tampering saga right from the inception of the idea and about the possible effects of the investigation carried out by Cricket Australia.
According to India Today- the Australians first thought of tampering when the bowlers were not able to get the ball to reverse swing under overcast conditions. There were talks that South Africa picked most of the wickets in Australia's first innings with reverse swing so in the absence of reverse swing under cloudy conditions on a greenish wicket; South Africa may establish control over the match.
However, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon, members of the leadership group have vehemently denied any involvement in the plan. Lyon informed the CA investigators he had no role at all in the plan. Both felt it was wrong on Smith to have said 'leadership group' in the press conference.
India Today also chalked out the possible fallouts of the investigation conducted by Cricket Australia.
- Smith and Warner are sure to be suspended and stripped of their captaincy and vice captaincy. The captaincy and vice captaincy will be taken away for life from them. Suspension is expected to be around the 6 months to 1 year mark.
- Darren Lehmann is all set to lose his job. Justin Langer is the most likely replacement.
- With Australia having a break for the next 3 months, they will name Tim Paine as stand-in captain and then take a final call, which will also depend on the suspensions of Smith and Warner - for how long they are banned from international cricket.
- The pressure on Cricket Australia increased with their main sponsor Qantas Airlines threatening to reconsider their association.