Cape Town: Australia captain Steve Smith has been handed a one-match suspension and fined his entire match fee after admitting to ball tampering during the third day of the ongoing third cricket Test against South Africa here.
Australian fielder Cameron Bancroft was captured on camera on Saturday while putting a yellow object down the front of his pants moments before the umpires seemingly inquired about the contents of his pockets.
Television footage later showed Bancroft rubbing the ball and then seemingly putting an object back in his pocket. Bancroft admitted that the object used was a yellow tape.
"Australia captain Steve Smith has been handed a one-match suspension and fined 100 percent of his match fee following his admission yesterday that he was party to a decision to attempt to change the condition of the ball in order to gain an unfair advantage," the International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement on Sunday.
"ICC chief executive David Richardson laid the charge against Smith under to Article 2.2.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct for players and player support personnel which prohibits 'all types of conduct of a serious nature that is contrary to the spirit of the game'.
"Smith accepted the charge and the proposed sanction of two suspension points which equates to a ban for the next Test match and which will see four demerit points added to his record," the statement added.
Additionally, Bancroft has been fined 75 percent of his match fee and handed three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct.
ICC chief executive David Richardson on why Steve Smith was suspended. Also whacks his own organisation and member country boards pic.twitter.com/uqxZ954jwq-Andrew Wu (@wutube) March 25, 2018
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
So the ICC has passed judgement, now to hear what Cricket Australia decide......-Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 25, 2018
Smith -Warner should never be allowed to play again. Lehman must go & Bancroft tho he was presumably sucked in & to curry favour went along with it. Like match-fixing, ball tampering is a cancer and those caught, must be completely cut out. Aussie PM’s reaction was spot on.-Henry Blofeld (@blowersh) March 25, 2018
Steve Smith apologises for cheating and says it won-t happen again.-Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) March 25, 2018
This has already happened with this side.
Now we know that Kohli was 100% right when he caught them the last time!
So, let-s not buy into this pretence of repentance!
ICC punishment proportionate according to the regulations. But CA must take a broader view of an apparently disreputable team culture.-mike selvey (@selvecricket) March 25, 2018
ICC serves one match suspension on Steve Smith, fines him 100 per cent of match fee. That-s the least of what his problems going ahead-Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 25, 2018
The question I ask how did Mitch Starc get that cherry to reverse swing as it did in the first test ? Was it done fairly? I believe no ! Why can’t he get that movement through the air now ?@markb46 @PatSymcox77 @paulharris12-Rob Louw (@roblouw6) March 25, 2018
"Bancroft admitted that he breached Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "changing the condition of the ball in breach of clause 41.3." and accepted the sanction proposed by Andy Pycroft of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, and as such there was no need for a formal hearing," the statement said.
"The incident that led to the charges being laid took place during South Africa's innings on Saturday afternoon when Bancroft was seen on television holding a foreign object while rubbing the ball, before hiding the object in his pocket, then inside his trousers," it added.
As soon as the incident was shown on the giant screen, the player was questioned in the presence of his captain Steve Smith by the two on-field umpires Richard Illingworth and Nigel Llong.
The on-field officials along with third umpire Ian Gould and fourth umpire Allahudien Palekar later charged Bancroft.
The umpires inspected the ball at that time and elected not to replace the ball and award a five-run penalty as they could not see any marks on the ball that suggested that its condition had been changed as a direct result of Bancroft's actions.
The umpires though agreed that Bancroft's actions were likely to alter the condition of the ball and he was therefore charged under Article 2.2.9.
"To carry a foreign object on to the field of play with the intention of changing the condition of the ball to gain an unfair advantage over your opponent is against not only the Laws, but the Spirit of the game as well," Pycroft said.
"That said, I acknowledge that Cameron has accepted responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty to the charge and apologising publicly. As a young player starting out in international cricket, I hope the lessons learned from this episode will strongly influence the way he plays the game during the rest of his career," he added.