Smith and Warner stand down after scandal

Steve Smith and David Warner will stand down as captain and vice-captain for rest of Australia’s third Test match against South Africa, Cricket Australia said Sunday as it investigates a ball-tampering scandal.

Tim Paine will step in as acting captain for the remainder of the Test in Newlands, CA chief James Sutherland said in a statement.

“Following discussions with Steve Smith and David Warner they have agreed to stand down as Captain and Vice-Captain respectively for the remainder of this Test match,” Sutherland said.

Earlier in the day, the CA chief had said that he will not rule on Smith’s future as captain until it completes a probe into stunning revelations that have plunged the test team in crisis.

Smith, who has led the team since 2015 and is the team’s best batsman, confessed to reporters in Cape Town on Saturday that the ball-tampering had been orchestrated by himself and senior players.

Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, the most junior member in the side at 25, was tasked with implementing the plan and was duly caught on camera using the tape.

He has been charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC), which could lead to a one-match ban and a 100% fine of his match fee.

The cost to Australia’s reputation is immeasurably higher, however, with former players across the globe branding the team as cheats and fans castigating the players on social media. (Courtesy The Hindu)