Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner decided to relinquish their leadership duties from the remainder of the third Test against South Africa. The decision came hours after Australia Sports Commission demanded Cricket Australia to relieve Smith of his duties after he admitted his role in the ball tampering incident on the third day of the third Test at Newlands in Cape Town.
Speaking to reporters, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said, “Following discussions with Steve Smith and David Warner they have agreed to stand down as Captain and Vice-Captain respectively for the remainder of this Test match. This Test match needs to proceed, and in the interim, we will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands,” he said.
“As I said earlier today, Cricket Australia and Australian cricket fans expect certain standards of conduct from cricketers representing our country, and on this occasion, these standards have not been met,” Sutherland added.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine has been appointed as the captain for the remainder of the third Test.
Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also expressed his opinion on the incident earlier and had asked Cricket Australia to take a “decisive action”. “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 said. “It’s wrong, and I look forward to Cricket Australia taking decisive action soon,” he added.
Bancroft was caught in a video, hiding a yellow-coloured object, which he later admitted to being a “yellow tape” which is a part of their kit. The opening batsman and Smith admitted altering the condition of the ball in the middle of the match at the press conference, after the day’s play.
“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,” he said.