Australia captain Steve Smith given one-Test suspension by ICC
Last Updated: 28/03/18 9:55am
Australia captain Steve Smith has been handed a one-Test ban by the ICC following a ball-tampering incident in the third Test against South Africa.
Smith has also been fined 100 per cent of his match fee, while Cameron Bancroft has been given a 75 per cent fine and three demerit points.
The sanctions come after footage emerged of Australia opener Bancroft using a foreign object on the ball and then hiding it down his trousers. Captain Smith later admitted Bancroft had been instructed to tamper with the ball by the team's "senior leadership" group.
On Sunday morning, Smith and David Warner stood down as captain and vice-captain for the remainder of the third Test in South Africa, with Tim Paine taking over the captaincy.
"The decision made by the leadership group of the Australian team to act in this way is clearly contrary to the spirit of the game, risks causing significant damage to the integrity of the match, the players and the sport itself and is therefore 'serious' in nature," ICC chief executive David Richardson said.
"As captain, Steve Smith must take full responsibility for the actions of his players and it is appropriate that he be suspended.
"The game needs to have a hard look at itself. In recent weeks we have seen incidents of ugly sledging, send-offs, dissent against umpires' decisions, a walk-off, ball tampering and some ordinary off-field behaviour.
"The ICC needs to do more to prevent poor behaviour and better police the spirit of the game, defining more clearly what is expected of players and enforcing the regulations in a consistent fashion.
"In addition and most importantly Member countries need to show more accountability for their teams' conduct.
"Winning is important but not at the expense of the spirit of the game which is intrinsic and precious to the sport of cricket. We have to raise the bar across all areas."
After revealing that Smith and Warner would stand down for the rest of the Test in Cape Town, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: "Australian cricket fans and Cricket Australia expect certain standards of conduct from cricketers representing our country.
"On this occasion these standards have not been met. All Australians, like us, want answers and we will keep you updated on our findings, as a matter of priority."