NEWS

Australian Cricketers Punished For Cheating

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Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Australian cricket has handed three of its leading cricketers lengthy bans in an attempt to restore "integrity" and rebuild the reputation of the sport in Australia in the wake of a ball-tampering scandal.

Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been banned from playing for the national side for a year after their roles in the incident that caused national outrage during the third Test against South Africa, report the BBC and CNN.

Cameron Bancroft was given a nine-month ban for using sandpaper to rough the ball illegally. The three had already been sent home from Australia's tour – before a fourth Test begins on Friday – amid widespread condemnation stretching beyond sport.

Australia's prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had said the affair "bitterly disappointed the whole nation."

Smith, 28, and Bancroft, 25, have also been suspended from captaining Australia for at least the next two years.

Warner, 31, will not be considered for "any team leadership positions in the future," Cricket Australia said.

Cricket Australia's investigation also confirmed Bancroft used sandpaper to damage the ball during the third Test against South Africa.

It found Smith and Bancroft had made "misleading public comments" when on Saturday they instead claimed it had actually been yellow tape.

Cricket Australia had already concluded that coach Darren Lehmann was not involved in the controversy and he will remain in his post.

The body's chief executive James Sutherland said the three players were "sad, disappointed and remorseful."

He added: "This has caused damage to the game as a whole and certainly to Cricket Australia. It has compromised the fans' faith in cricket and it's our responsibility to reinstate that confidence.

"It appears to be an isolated incident but if there are other allegations we will take them further. There was some courage in owning up but there was an element of untruth and that's something we took into consideration."

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