Cricket Australia (CA) said on Sunday, March 25, they will conduct an investigation into a ball-tampering scandal during the third test against South Africa that has prompted calls for captain Steve Smith to step down.
“From a Cricket Australia perspective, we regard this as an extremely serious issue,” CA chief executive James Sutherland told reporters in Melbourne.
Smith has admitted that the team’s “leadership group” orchestrated a plan to use sticky tape to pick up hard granules from the pitch and rub these against the ball to try to alter its condition and get it to swing.
Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, 25, the most junior member in the side, was the player tasked with implementing the plan and he has been charged by the International Cricket Council.
“One of the unique things about the game of cricket is that it’s to be played not only within the laws of the game, but in the spirit of the game and activities on the field yesterday in Cape Town are neither within the laws of the game or within the spirit of the game,” Sutherland told reporters.
“Australian cricket fans want to be proud of their cricket team, they want to be proud of the Australian cricket team and I think this morning they have every reason to wake up and not be proud of the team.
“It’s a very sad day for Australian cricket,” he said.
“We certainly don’t have all of the evidence at hand and we need someone to go over there and to talk to the relevant people involved to understand what happened and the detail and then we’ll make appropriate decisions as to next steps.”