Smith, Warner likely to get one-year ban

Cricket Australia could punish Steve Smith and his vice-captain David Warner by banning both for 12 months and sending them home in disgrace.

Steve Smith (L) and David Warner are set to be in the firing line of CA.   -  AP

 

The axe was hanging over the head of Australian coach Darren Lehmann and skipper Steve Smith on Tuesday with cricket chiefs holding crisis talks in South Africa to deal with an escalating cheating scandal.

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Cricket Australia (CA) boss James Sutherland, under mounting pressure to come down hard on what Australian media has dubbed a “rotten” team culture, was due in Johannesburg on Tuesday where he will meet up with the body's head of integrity, Iain Roy.

They are expected to update a shocked Australian public on Wednesday morning, with reports saying they could throw the book at Smith and his vice-captain David Warner by banning both for 12 months and sending them home in disgrace.

Smith has already been suspended for one Test and docked his entire match fee by the International Cricket Council for his role in a plot that saw teammate Cameron Bancroft tamper with the ball during the third Test against South Africa on Saturday.

It means he will miss the fourth and final Test in Johannesburg starting Friday.

National outcry

There has been a national outcry over Smith's admission that the leadership group within the team decided to cheat.

That group of senior players usually includes fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, but they are reportedly furious at being embroiled in the saga and may contact the Australian Cricketers Association to enlist union support to clear their names.