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Cricket fraternity expresses disappointment as Bancroft, Smith admit to ball-tampering

James Sutherland

Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft gets ready to play a shot during the fourth day of the third Test cricket match between South Africa and Australia at Newlands cricket ground on March 25, 2018, in Cape Town.

Former Test captain Michael Clarke said the revelations would reflect poorly on Lehmann, who will finish up in the job after next year's Ashes series, regardless of whether he knew about the plan.

"It's been a frightful 24 hours to be perfectly honest", stand-in skipper Tim Paine said. "It's been an absolutely frightful 24 hours to be perfectly honest", he said. "That is probably what they were thinking", he added.

CA has dispatched team performance chief Pat Howard and head of integrity Iain Roy to conduct a full investigation of the saga.

"We will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands", he said. "Please tell me this is a bad dream", he tweeted.

The team, in a plot led by captain Steve Smith and senior players, confessed to ball tampering against South Africa in the third test at Cape Town on Saturday. They were both booed as they arrived and then trudged off the field, as was Smith, who made just 7.

Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft admitted that there plan to tamper with the ball was premeditated.

Smith was banned for the final test of the series and Bancroft was given three disciplinary demerit points by the International Cricket Council, but not suspended.

"It's not what we want to see in the game, it's not what the Australian cricket team is about", a remorseful Smith said while sitting alongside Bancroft at a packed post-match press conference in South Africa.

He also confirmed that David Warner has stepped down as the vice-captain. "For me it's about trying to learn from my mistakes and improve", Smith said after his fine in New Zealand.

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The Australian cricket team has an nearly sacred status in the country and the nation has reacted with shock and disgust.

Steve Smith's future as Australia captain was thrown into doubt after he was banned for one match after admitting responsibility for the ball-tampering scandal that marred the ongoing Test against South Africa. The move followed a phone conversation between Smith and Sutherland.

The man who holds the top office, Malcolm Turnbull, on Sunday denounced the Australian team's actions, after having a "frank discussion" with Cricket Australia chairman David Peever. Playing against the Aussies in 2016 in Hobart, du Plessis came under huge fire - especially from the home team's media - after he used saliva, produced in part with a mint in his mouth, to shine the ball.

First, the ICC ruling which landed on Sunday.

Match referee Andy Pycroft said: "To carry a foreign object on to the field of play with the intention of changing the condition of the ball to gain an unfair advantage over your opponent is against not only the Laws, but the Spirit of the game as well". He'll miss the decisive last test of the series.

"The game needs to have a hard look at itself", he said.

The cost to Australia's reputation is immeasurably higher, however, with former players across the globe branding the team cheats and fans castigating the players on social media.

Sledging is a term synonymous with Australians, a legacy no sporting nation can be proud of.

Former Australia captain Allan Border said on SuperSport television that he was "angry and embarrassed".

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