No South Africa investigation into Bancroft tampering

James Sutherland

James Sutherland was seething about the incident

"Given the admission by Australian captain Steve Smith, the ASC calls for him to be stood down immediately by Cricket Australia, along with any other members of the team leadership group or coaching staff who had prior awareness of, or involvement in, the plan to tamper with the ball", the ASC statement read.

On Saturday, Smith had insisted he would not quit despite Bancroft being caught using yellow sticky tape to alter the condition of the ball.

Bancroft received three demerit points, one less than Smith and one short of the amount that triggers a suspension, and was fined 75 per cent of his match fee.

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We will now wait, for Cricket Australia to act.

Two senior Cricket Australia officials - Pat Howard, executive general manager of team performance and Iain Roy, the organisation's head of integrity - are on their way to Cape Town to investigate Australia's day of shame and report back to the board.

Earlier, Australian skipper Steven Smith and opener David Warner stand down as Australia's captain and vice-captain, respectively, for the remainder of the third Test match of the four-match Test series. It's a time for everyone in cricket to look in the mirror, decide if they like what they see and if not, do what needs to be done to change.

Bancroft (26), Warner (32) and Mitch Marsh (16) were the only Australian batsmen to reach double figures.

"I've always been taught if in doubt do nought".

"I feel for Cam as well".

Holding said he was "shocked" that they stepped down during the Test. "There's ammunition enough but it's a hard situation that some guys are going to get an opportunity from", he said.

"Today was a big mistake on my behalf and on the leadership group's behalf as well but I take responsibility as the captain".

These and more questions of rampant ill-tempered player behaviour and where to draw the line will continue to haunt the sport, which has suffered another body blow after the match-fixing saga nearly two decades ago damaged its very foundations.

Television footage showed Smith's teammate Bancroft, 25, taking a yellow object (sandpaper to scruff up one side of the ball to aid reverse swing) out of his pocket while fielding in the post-lunch session and appearing to rub it on the ball before putting the material into his pants in an attempt to hide it.

Lehmann is nonetheless a lightning rod for criticism among an Australian public increasingly fed-up with the team's behaviour.

"...this was premeditated and calculated at the break and those guys are in charge of Cameron Bancroft (the player directly involved in scuffing the ball) behaving the way he did".

"They've set themselves as this higher than high, this pious team who look down at everyone and set the benchmark for what is right and wrong in cricket, when everyone who's played against them knows that's an absolute joke".

Australia's 2014 tour of South Africa was marred by sledging which led Faf du Plessis to liken the visitors to a "pack of dogs", while last year's tour of India and the most recent Ashes series were also spiteful affairs.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell wrote in a column for Sydney's Daily Telegraph late Sunday that Smith "shouldn't be the sole scapegoat for a dark day in Australian cricket".

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