Australia ball-tampering scandal: Key questions answered by Sky Sports pundits
Last Updated: 28/03/18 9:56am
The ball-tampering scandal involving Australia has utterly dominated headlines over the last 24 hours.
On Saturday, day three of the Cape Town Test against South Africa, Cameron Bancroft was seen using a foreign object on the ball and then hiding it down his trousers, with captain Steve Smith later admitting Bancroft had been instructed to tamper with the ball by the team's "senior leadership" group.
But what happens from here? We've collated the thoughts of several of Sky Sports' esteemed cricket pundits to see what they've made of the whole scandal...
Who is to blame?
David Lloyd: "By cheating Australia have shown a total disregard for the game and the ethics of the game yet again.
"The captain, Smith, says it's not the way he wants his team to be seen but I'm afraid it's exactly the way the team is seen because of a culmination of events.
Michael Atherton: "It's hard to see how Smith can survive on more permanent basis.
"I've spoken to a couple of people in Australia and they say that they can't remember this level of anger being directed at, not only Smith, the Australian cricket team in general.
"This was the straw that broke the camel's back. That message has been relayed, and therefore there has been a loss of support in Smith and so he has stood down, for now."
Rob Key: "I hold Smith accountable. Frankly, I've had enough of him. He's had an opinion on everything, from Kagiso Rabada to back in the Ashes with Anderson sledging. The press conference with Bancroft and Smith on Jonny Bairstow and 'headbuttgate' - such an ordinary performance.
"I think he is sorry for being caught and that he is now in this position. I don't think he is sorry for the actual thing. He was almost trying to sweep it under the carpet.
"He should go, and not just for this. He, as captain, is in charge of what happens with the team on that field, from send-offs to sledging. and this holier-than-thou attitude that Smith has been right at the front of, I've had enough of it. It's time to make a change.
Michael Holding: "I was totally shocked when I saw the television replays and saw exactly what was taking place on the field.
"It didn't get any better when the news conference was given late in the evening on Saturday, because it seemed to me that Smith and Bancroft were not trying to justify what they did but trying to make light of the situation when they said things like 'it didn't actually work because the umpires did not change the ball'. That's like saying okay I fired a shot to try to kill someone and missed, so it's no big thing.
"I don't quite understand why they would sit down and try to plan something like that, determine that you're going to try and cheat, and expect that it would just blow over after a while."
Bob Willis: "It's unfortunate that Bancroft, one of the most inexperienced members of the side, is the guilty party here - a little bit like Pakistan's Mohammad Amir being told by his captain, Salman Butt, to bowl no-balls to order in that infamous Lord's Test a few years ago.
"The buck stops with the captain. I'd have thought Smith's days in charge are numbered."
Jason Gillespie: "It appeared to me in Smith's press conference that he didn't quite grasp the gravity of the situation. It was an admission of a preconceived plan to cheat in our sport. An admission that we tried to take an advantage by doing the wrong thing.
"It's shocking, very saddening and incredibly disappointing. It's hard to see how Smith can continue as captain."
Dominic Cork: "Even though he said last night that he felt he was still the right man to take the team forward, Smith should have gone then.
"As captain I would have expected him to actually take responsibility himself. If he had any integrity he would have gone into that press conference and said, I am the leader, I am man who should go. It tarnishes his reputation. When you admit to cheating in sport, it never goes away.
"I feel sorry a little for Bancroft but you make your own choices. Nasser Hussain summed it up very nicely, saying that you can always say no.
"You don't have to agree with something that you know in the laws of the game is wrong. Cheating is cheating. I am sure they will rue this decision for the rest of their lives."
Will more be punished?
Athers: "It certainly won't be the end of it. That's what James Sutherland said in his press conference. It can't be the end of it. Cricket Australia are feeling the pressure, from all angles.
"They will look into it and clearly those senior members of the team in the 'leadership group' that Smith talked about, albeit not named, are going to face some consequences as well."
Gillespie: "There's a lot of speculation in the media and, from what we're hearing, there is at least one senior player who is absolutely mortified that they've been drawn into this. So, we need a bit of clarity on who exactly is in this 'leadership group'.
"You'd imagine it comprises of the captain, vice-captain and coach, at least, and Lehmann hasn't fronted the media yet. Until then, we have to go on what Smith and Bancroft said, and they said the coaches weren't aware of it.
"But, it's hard to imagine that there isn't going to be a fallout, a big fallout, and a change in personnel. Big changes on and off the field."
Cork: "When you are in control as a coach, captain and vice-captain you have to take the responsibility. I believe that all three should go and I think Cricket Australia need to stamp this right now and make the decision."
Are Australia in crisis?
Lloyd: "Australia seem totally out of control to me, with no leadership of management - either captaincy or coach or chief executive - and it hasn't gone down well over there.
"If you are a terrific cricket team you want to be remembered as that - wonderful players, wonderful people. Australia have got a long way to go.
"Smith says an incident like this hasn't happened before under his captaincy. We've just had an Ashes series in which they reverse-swung the ball brilliantly. How did that happen? There are so many questions.
"We've heard them on so many occasions saying they haven't crossed the line - wherever that is. I wonder if they think they have now?"
Key: "Cricket Australia is out of control.
"I take you back to when Anderson was seen removing mud from the ball during their Ashes, the Cricket Australia official twitter feed was stirring the pot with that.
"Plus, Lehmann complaining here about the South African crowds. As coach, a few years ago, he was telling the Australian punters to make Stuart Broad go home in tears. Cricket Australia has a real issue."
Willis: "One has to say, that over the last couple of years, Australia's standard of behaviour has been going down and down and down, under Lehmann and Smith's watch. I think you can draw a graph on the sliding standards of behaviour in Australian cricket and it would be very poor indeed.
Cork: "I don't think this is just one thing that is out of the blue from the Australians, that it is a slip-up.
"Cricket Australia have massive problems, they are an out of control juggernaut at the moment. They are rudderless, and I think Lehmann has to take responsibility as a coach.
"I call them schoolyard bullies because I honestly believe the Australians have been like that for a long while. On the field they will be personal about you and then as soon as it is turned back on them David Warner and Lehmann all of a sudden are standing up, saying, 'it's out of order, we're putting a complaint in'.
"Seriously, Darren? You're the same man I played against who had a word or two to say. You can't be a hypocrite in life."
What happens from here?
Lloyd: "Ball tampering has a stigma about it but when you look at the Code of Conduct it only carries a penalty of a Level 2 offence under the ICC's Code of Conduct - the highest being Level 4.
"The umpires and ICC can only act as the laws are now; players know that if they get caught, they get caught and will have to hold your hands up to it.
"If people think that it is a more important issue then the ICC need to move it up two notches to a Level 4 and then there would be very, very serious consequences."
Athers: "Ball tampering has long gone on in the game. Australia won't be the first, or last, to try and manipulate the old ball and get it moving.
"The indignation over it seems to be out of kilter with the actual offence. I have to say, I think some of the reaction has been completely over the top. Calls for Smith to be banned for life are ridiculous. Politicians getting on their high horse, saying they've disgraced the nation - they should look a bit closer to home.
But, this is not about a little bit of ball tampering - it's about the planned and premeditated nature of it and also the broader behavioural issues that we've seen from Australia for the last few weeks"
Holding: "I would like to see someone made an example of because this is going a bit too far. I think the ICC, the cricket authorities around the world, the boards, need to take a stand.
"Similar to what I have said about the abuse that has been hurled at people in this series, I recommended years ago when I was on the ICC cricket committee that they should have yellow and red cards, similar to football.
"That would cut out the abuse immediately, as no team wants to play with 10 men. Yet the ICC refused.
"Once upon a time we used to have the expression when people did wrong things, 'that's not cricket' because cricket was held in such high esteem in everyone's minds. No one is trying to protect that image anymore, they are allowing the game to slip further and further down the gutter."
Gillespie: "Australian cricket will recover. It will take time, these wounds will take time to heal. But, I'd like to think we, and the game, will move on from this.
"There has been other controversies in all sports over the years. The game will survive. But, Australia need to have a period of some deep reflection over their actions."