Smith gets one-Test suspension, loses 100 per cent match fee

Australia opener Cameron Bancroft — who used a yellow tape to try to change the condition of the ball — has been fined 75 per cent along with three demerit points.

Steve Smith has been fined 100 per cent of his match fee and handed a one Test ban for the ball-tampering incident in Cape Town on Saturday.   -  AFP

Australia skipper Steve Smith has been fined 100 per cent of his match fee and handed a one Test ban for the ball-tampering incident in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday.

 

Australia opener Cameron Bancroft — who used a yellow tape to try to change the condition of the ball — has been fined 75 per cent along with three demerit points.

He breached Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “changing the condition of the ball in breach of clause 41.3.” There was no formal hearing.

The ICC, in a release, said that chief executive David Richardson laid the charge against Smith under Article 2.2.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel which prohibits ‘all types of conduct of a serious nature that is contrary to the spirit of the game’.

READ: Smith, Warner step down as captain, vice-captain for rest of third Test

Smith will also receive four demerit points.

“The decision made by senior players of the Australian team to act in this way is clearly contrary to the spirit of the game, risks causing significant damage to the integrity of the match, the players and the sport itself and is therefore ‘serious’ in nature. As captain, Steve Smith must take full responsibility for the actions of his players and it is appropriate that he be suspended," said Richardson.

“The game needs to have a hard look at itself. In recent weeks we have seen incidents of ugly sledging, send-offs, dissent against umpires’ decisions, a walk-off, ball tampering and some ordinary off-field behaviour.

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“The ICC needs to do more to prevent poor behavior and better police the spirit of the game, defining more clearly what is expected of players and enforcing the regulations in a consistent fashion. In addition and most importantly Member countries need to show more accountability for their teams’ conduct. Winning is important but not at the expense of the spirit of the game which is intrinsic and precious to the sport of cricket. We have to raise the bar across all areas," he added.

Match referee Andy Pycroft, commenting on the controversy, 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.

“That said, I acknowledge that Cameron has accepted responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty to the charge and apologising publicly. As a young player starting out in international cricket, I hope the lessons learned from this episode will strongly influence the way he plays the game during the rest of his career," he said in the release.