#Steve Smith Australian captain and his deputy Dave Warner are accused of ball tampering in the third test against #South Africa. They had another accomplice in Cameron Bancroft. The plan of the Australian team was to try and tamper with the ball in such a way that it could support reverse swing. In doing this they anticipated the game would swing in their favour. Unfortunately, the cheating incident was discovered. The Times of India has now reported that both the captain and vice-captain of the Australian team have been banned from all forms of cricket by #Cricket Australia for one year. In addition, the third accomplice has been given a nine-month ban.

Ball tampering

The incident has shocked the world and has put Australian cricket in a quandary, it was considered so serious that the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull commented adversely about it; "Our cricketers are role models and cricket is synonymous with fair play. How can our team be engaged in cheating like this? It beggars belief.." The ICC, as usual, took a lenient view of the entire case despite Steve Smith having admitted he is guilty of ball tampering. He was given only a one test ban and a fine of his match fee. Similarly, Warner also escaped lightly. Many felt that the ICC had been very lenient.

Action

With the incident reverberating all over the world, eminent cricketers such as Michael Vaughan condemned the attitude and conduct of Steve Smith. It was on the cards that Cricket Australia would have to take a stronger view.

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The Australian Cricket Board has now suspended both the captain and Vice-Captain for one year. Smith has also been removed as captain and in addition, he and Warner have both been banned from captaining Australia for two years. A nine-month ban has also been handed out to Cameron Bancroft. Both Steve Smith and Warner will also have to fight for their place in the team after the expiry of the ban. The players have a right to appeal to the board.

Coach has to answer

No action has been taken against coach Darren Lehmann but the fact remains that Lehmann's instructions to his players to win at any cost could possibly have been the match that lit this incident. it is also inconceivable that only three players were involved in this cheating incident. There is a possibility that other players who form part of the think tank could also have approved this proposal. Steve Smith does not seem to have a very good reputation. One can recall that Skipper Virat Kohli in a test match with Australia had mentioned that Steve Smith was almost a cheat.

The incident will have its repercussions globally. Many people may think that the Australian team are cheats and this is not good for World Cricket