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Cricket Australia condemns ball tampering by Bancroft; says Steve Smith will continue as captain

Cricket Australia on Sunday morning reacted to the ball tampering issue that has shocked the crickteting world.

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Cricket Australia condemns ball tampering by Bancroft; says Steve Smith will continue as captain
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Cricket Australia on Sunday morning reacted to the ball tampering issue that has shocked the crickteting world.

In a series of tweets, attributed to Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland, Cricket Australia siad, "I was extremely disappointed and shocked by what transpired in Cape Town. t’s a very sad day for Australian cricket ... activities in Cape Town not within the laws or spirit of the game.We have a responsibility to take this further. Head of Integrity Iain Roy and Head of Team Performance Pat Howard are heading to South Africa to gather all the information. This will be dealt with promptly. We will make further comment in due course," they said.

Earlier,  Australia's Cameron Bancroft and captain Steve Smith admitted to ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Bancroft was caught on television cameras appearing to rub a yellow object on the ball, and later said: "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I want to be here (in the press conference) because I want to be accountable for my actions."

Smith added: "The leadership group knew about it."

The conduct of Bancroft in the middle session drew great scrutiny after he was captured by television cameras moving an unknown yellow object from his pocket into his trousers.

The TV footage also appeared to show him shining the ball before putting something that had been in his hand back in his pocket.

He was spoken to by umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth, during which Bancroft showed them a black piece of cloth, and play continued.

Former cricketers Graeme Smith and Shane Warne, though, made pertinent points when they questioned the involvement of Australian captain Steve Smith and head coach Darren Lehmann.

“He’s got that object in his hand and he takes it to the ball,” former Proteas skipper Smith said during commentary. He added that Bancroft put away the object after being alerted by his dressing room: “There you see him put it back in his pocket and then when the message comes out to say ‘listen, something going on’ he then hides it in his crotch. It’s quite obvious that’s not the same thing that he’s hidden away,” said Smith, referring to the sunglass cover Bancroft produced when questioned by the umpires.

“You’ve got to ask some tough questions of Steve Smith and Darren Lehmann,” added said. “They’ve obviously driven this process, they’re the leadership. He’s a guy who’s played seven or eight Test matches. You can’t see him deciding that this is what he’s going to do on a given day. The decision was obviously taken behind the scenes. If it is sand paper it’s just really silly and not on.”

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