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Ball tampering scandal: Steve Smith stands down as captain

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Steve Smith

Following the unraveling of a massive ball-tampering scandal, Steve Smith and David Warner agreed to step down as captain and vice-captain, respectively, for the remainder of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

“Following discussions with Steve Smith and David Warner they have agreed to stand down as Captain and Vice-Captain respectively for the remainder of this Test match,” Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said in an official statement.

The statement further read, “This Test match needs to proceed, and in the interim we will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands.”

Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine will lead Australia at Newlands as the Baggy Greens will resume the Day Four of the Third Test.

“The Board of Cricket Australia has endorsed Tim Paine to step in as Acting Captain for the remainder of this Test,” Cricket Australia Chairman, David Peever said.

“The Board fully supports the process for an immediate investigation into what occurred in Cape Town. We regard this as a matter of the utmost seriousness and urgency. We will ensure we have all information available to make the right decisions for Australian Cricket,” Peever concluded.

Earlier on Saturday, both Smith and Bancroft admitted to charges of ball tampering after the end of the Day Three.

According to the footage, a small, yellow object was seen in Bancroft’s hands after he had worked on the ball, and he was also captured taking it out from his pocket and seeming to place it down his trousers.

It showed Bancroft rubbing the rough side of the ball, the opposite side to which he would usually be trying to shine on his trousers, as is permitted under International Cricket Council (ICC) playing conditions, reported.

He appeared to put the object down his pants apparently after being spoken to by the substitute Peter Handscomb, who had come on to the field after speaking to coach Darren Lehmann over the walkie-talkie.

When Bancroft spoke to the umpires, he was shown holding a bigger, black cloth rather than the small yellow object he had earlier seemed to place down his trousers.

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