Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft sent home from South Africa tour; Darren Lehmann stays on as Australia coach
Lehmann had no involvement or prior knowledge of the plan to alter the condition of the ball; Tim Paine officially appointed as captain
Last Updated: 02/04/18 2:03pm
Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will be sent home from Australia's tour of South Africa for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal but Darren Lehmann will continue as head coach.
Cricket Australia [CA] chief executive James Sutherland made the announcement at a news conference in Johannesburg, which came four days after captain Smith and opening batsman Bancroft admitted to manipulating the ball with sticky tape during day three of the third Test in Cape Town.
Sutherland revealed Lehmann had no involvement or prior knowledge of the plan to alter the condition of the ball and would continue in his post, despite media reports indicating the head coach might resign from his position.
Sutherland confirmed the three players have been officially reported for breaching article 2.3.5 of Cricket Australia's Code of Conduct and will leave South Africa on Wednesday, with "significant" sanctions expected to be announced within the next 24 hours.
He said: "These sanctions will reflect the gravity with which we view what has occurred and the damage it has done to the standing of Australian cricket."
Matthew Renshaw, who earned a recall to the Test set-up earlier on Wednesday, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns will take their place while Tim Paine will take on captaincy duties.
The Australia cricket chief stopped short of saying the players had cheated when pressed by the attending media.
"This is not in the laws of the game, it is not in the spirit of the game - I am angry and disappointed," he said.
"It is not a good day for Australian cricket."
Cricket Australia head of integrity Iain Roy was tasked to carry out an investigation into the events - which has caused outcry - and led the country's Prime Minister to call on the governing body to act "decisively and emphatically".
Sutherland told reporters: "I share the anger and disappointment of Australian fans and broader Australian community about events that unfolded in Cape Town on Saturday.
"On behalf of Cricket Australia, I want to apologise to all Australians that these events have taken place, especially to all kids who love cricket and idolise the players.
"I want to also apologise to Cricket South Africa and South African fans that this issue has overshadowed what should have been a great series.
"We recognise this issue goes beyond the technical nature of offences and various codes of conduct. It is about whether Australians can feel proud of their national sport teams.
"While the investigation is not complete, preliminary findings have been discussed by Cricket Australia board."
Smith, the No 1 ranked Test batsman, admitted Bancroft had been instructed to tamper with the ball by the team's 'leadership group'.
Cricket Australia chairman, David Peever said in a statement: "We understand and share the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about the events that unfolded in Cape Town on Saturday.
"This issue goes beyond the technical nature of the offences and various codes of conduct. It is about the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport.
"Ultimately, it is about whether Australians can feel proud of their national sporting teams.
"That depends as much on the way the players conduct themselves, as it does about winning or losing. It is about how we play the game," Peever concluded.
"I haven't seen all of the players but I have seen Steve [Smith], and he was distraught, really upset."
Smith was handed a one-Test ban by the ICC and fined 100 per cent of his match fee over the incident while Bancroft was fined 75 per cent of his match fee and awarded three demerit points.
It was revealed on Tuesday that Smith stepped down as captain of IPL side Rajasthan Royals ahead of the tournament starting on April 7.
South Africa lead 2-1 in the four-match Test series ahead of the encounter in Johannesburg, live on Sky Sports Cricket.
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