Cricket Australia to announce Smith, Warner, Bancroft sanctions in 24 hours

James Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia, on Tuesday, announced that Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will be leaving South Africa on Wednesday morning.

A dejected Steve Smith arrives in Johannesburg on Tuesday.   -  AP

James Sutherland, the chief executive of Cricket Australia, on Tuesday, announced that Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will be leaving South Africa on Wednesday morning. The sanctions for the trio, involved in the ball-tampering saga, will be decided in the next 24 hours, Sutherland said.

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"Winning is important, but not at the expense of the game. This is a serious issue. We will complete the process and will be in a position to finalise more sanctions once the investigation is complete (and this will be in the next 24 hours),” Sutherland told reporters in Johannesburg. "The process must therefore be thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined.

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"I understand the appetite for urgency given the reputation of Australia as a sporting nation has been damaged in the eyes of many. However, urgency must be balanced with due process given the serious implications for all involved."

Contrary to speculations that chief coach Darren Lehmann will resign, Sutherland said that Lehmann will continue coaching the side. In absence of the trio, Tim Paine will lead in Johannesburg. “The key finding is that prior knowledge was limited to three players, Steve Smith, David Warner, Cameron Bancroft. No other support players has prior knowledge. This also includes Darren Lehmann, who will continue to coach the team," Sutherland said, offering a clean chit to the coach.

Glenn Maxwell, Matt Renshaw and Joe Burns will join the squad for the fourth Test.

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The strong public reaction, Sutherland said, was an indication of how Australian fans wanted their players to behave. "This is a reminder of how Australian cricket fans want their cricket players to behave. They want to be proud. This situation is extraordinarily bad for Australian cricket," the chief executive said. "On behalf of Cricket Australia, I want to apologise to all Australians that these events have taken place, especially to all the kids."

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"In addition to sanctions for individuals, Cricket Australia will initiate an independent review into the conduct and culture of our Australian men’s teams. We will have more to say about this review in the coming days, but it will be conducted by an expert panel who will report to the Cricket Australia Board," Sutherland added.