They have failed our culture - Waugh weighs in on ball-tampering scandal

Steve Waugh says those guilty of ball tampering have "failed the culture" of the Australian cricket team.

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh   -  Getty Images

Legendary former Australia captain Steve Waugh believes those players involved in the ball-tampering saga have "failed the culture" of the side.

Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft were both punished by the ICC after admitting to their parts in a plot to manipulate the ball on day three of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands, which they lost by 322 runs.

Skipper Smith has been banned for the fourth and final Test in Johannesburg starting on Friday, while opening batsman Bancroft was fined 75 per cent of his match fee and given three demerit points but is free to play at the Wanderers if selected.

Cricket Australia officials arrived in South Africa on Monday to investigate the matter and it remains to be seen what action the body will take, with rumours beginning to circulate that head coach Darren Lehmann will step down from his role.

Waugh, who led the team over six dominant years either side of the turn of the century, was quick to condemn the fiasco but called for "perspective" when it comes to handing out further sanctions.

"Like many I'm deeply troubled by the events in Cape Town this last week, and acknowledge the thousands of messages I have received, mostly from heartbroken cricket followers worldwide," he posted on his official Facebook page.

"The Australian cricket team has always believed it could win in any situation against any opposition, by playing combative, skilful and fair cricket, driven by our pride in the fabled Baggy Green.

"I have no doubt the current Australian team continues to believe in this mantra, however some have now failed our culture, making a serious error of judgement in the Cape Town Test match.

"In 2003, we modified the spirit of cricket document originally created by the MCC, to empower our players to set their own standards and commit to play the Australian way.

"We must urgently revisit this document, re-bind our players to it and ensure the spirit in which we play is safe-guarded for the future of the sport, and to continue to inspire the dreams of every young kid picking up a bat and ball and for every fan who lives and breathes the game.

"A focused and balanced perspective is needed in the condemnation on those involved in this, with a clear and critical consideration to the social impact and mental health of all players.

"I will support all positive action to ensure an outcome for the betterment of the game, regaining the trust and faith of every fan of cricket."

It was announced on Tuesday that batsman Matt Renshaw has been called into the squad for the fourth Test against the Proteas as Australia look to salvage a 2-2 series draw.

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