David Warner was the ringleader behind the Australia ball-tampering scandal which has seen him, captain Steve Smith, and Cameron Bancroft hit with lengthy bans.
Vice-captain Warner and Smith have been banned from international and domestic cricket for 12 months and Bancroft for nine months by Cricket Australia following the Cape Town controversy.
Smith and Bancroft gave a press conference after the third day’s play of the third Test against South Africa, during which they admitted a pre-meditated attempt to tamper with the ball.
The yellow tape Bancroft was captured on camera rubbing against the ball, and then hiding down the front of his trousers, was in fact sandpaper, CA revealed.
Smith spoke of a “leadership group” making the decision to tamper with the ball and, in announcing the severe punishments, CA revealed Warner, 31, was charged with devising the plan, instructing a junior player – Bancroft – to carry it out and even demonstrating how to do it.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan leapt on the latter point, writing on Twitter: “Interesting to see how one demonstrated how a ball could be artificially altered … !!!!!!! But it was an ISOLATED incident !!!!”
CA chief executive James Sutherland also said that if further allegations of ball-tampering were made they would be investigated.
Sutherland told a press conference broadcast on Channel 9: “If there are credible allegations to the contrary we have the responsibility to address them, though the investigation thus far is that it does appear to be an isolated incident.”
Nevertheless, CA also revealed a review into the culture of the Australian cricket team, brought into sharp focus in the wake of the scandal, will be published in due course.
Batsman Warner, a controversial figure throughout his Test career, will never be considered for a team leadership position in the future, CA added, while Smith and Bancroft will not be considered for such roles until 12 months after their bans end.
Among the charges, Smith, 28, faced was “knowledge of a potential plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball”.
Bancroft, 25, Warner’s opening partner and playing in only his eighth Test, was charged with “knowledge of the existence of, and being party to, the plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper”, and “carrying out instructions to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball”.
One man that was clearly taking a lot of pleasure from the saga involving Warner was ex-England international Jonathan Trott, who has history with the Aussie.
The two had a run-in during an Ashes series, which resulted in Trott going home early, and he took to Twitter earlier today to rub salt into the wounds.
Smith and Warner have also been banned from taking part in this year’s Indian Premier League, although the England and Wales Cricket Board is not taking a view at this stage – Bancroft is Somerset’s overseas player for the coming season.
All three players, sent home from South Africa, will be permitted to play club cricket, to maintain links with the cricket community.
In addition, all three players will be required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket.
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