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Australia laughing stock over ball tampering cricket scandal as Malcolm Turnbull leads condemnation

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull added his voice to the furious chorus demanding Steve Smith be stood down saying he is ‘shocked and bitterly disappointed’ and is looking for ‘decisive action’.

The Australian cricket team were caught ball tampering in South Africa with batsman Cameron Bancroft using dirt stuck to a piece of tape during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday.

Speaking about the incident which has thrown Australian cricket into to chaos, the prime minister said: ‘It seemed completely beyond belief that the Australian cricket team had been involved in cheating.’

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the incident was wrong and called for decisive action from Cricket Australia

Australian cricket is a laughing stock after Cameron Bancroft insisted that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was caught

Australian cricket is a laughing stock after Cameron Bancroft insisted that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was caught

He said the news beggared belief with the players role models for millions around the country.

‘The whole nation who holds those who wear the baggy green up on a pedestal — about as high as you can get in Australia, higher than any politician that’s for sure — this is a shocking disappointment.

‘It’s wrong and I look forward to Cricket Australia taking decisive action soon,’ he said.

Mr Turnbull said he had been in contact with the Cricket Australia chairman David Peever to express his disappointment ‘clearly and unequivocally’. 

Australia's Cameron Bancroft has found himself at the centre of ball-tampering controversy

Australia’s Cameron Bancroft has found himself at the centre of ball-tampering controversy

He was seen running his hand over the ball, before removing a yellow object from his pocket

The Australia player was then spotted putting the object down the front of his trousers

The opening batsman was seen running his hand over the ball, before removing a yellow object from his pocket and placing it down the front of his trousers

A host of cricket legends have called for Australian captain Steve Smith to be sacked as skipper after he admitted the leadership had hatched a plan to cheat.

Adam Gilchrist branded Australia a ‘laughing stock of the world’ after Bancroft was caught on camera pulling sticky tape from his pocket and rubbing it on the ball to illegally gain an advantage.

Shane Warne said during coverage of the Test match on Fox Sports that ‘you just can’t do that’, adding: ‘I don’t care who you are.’

He later tweeted: ‘Very disappointed with the pictures I saw on our coverage here in Cape Town.

‘If proven the alleged ball tampering is what we all think it is – then I hope Steve Smith and Darren Lehmann do the press conference to clean this mess up.’

Adam Gilchrist branded Australia a 'laughing stock of the world' after the incident in South Africa

Adam Gilchrist branded Australia a ‘laughing stock of the world’ after the incident in South Africa

Shane Warne said during coverage of the Test match on Fox Sports that 'you just can't do that', adding: 'I don't care who you are.'

Shane Warne said during coverage of the Test match on Fox Sports that ‘you just can’t do that’, adding: ‘I don’t care who you are.’

Bancroft was spoken to by English umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth on Saturday

Bancroft was spoken to by English umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth on Saturday

Former Australian batsman Simon Katich said Cricket Australia had ‘no choice’ but to sack Smith, vice-captain David Warner and coach Darren Lehmann. 

‘This was premeditated and calculated at the break and those guys are in charge of Cameron Bancroft behaving the way he did,’ he said on SEN Radio. 

‘It’s a bigger problem than that, he’s been instructed to do this and anyone in cricket knows the captain and coach are in control of what happens in the team.

‘I love Steve Smith but unfortunately he’s made a serious error and I think it’s going to cost him the captaincy of Australia.’

Gilchrist is due to appear on The Project on Sunday night but said on Channel 10 earlier in the day it was ‘black and white’.

‘Australian cricket now and the integrity of Australian cricket is the laughing stock of world sport,’ he said.

‘We’re very quick to damn nations that cheat in any way or go beyond the rules. 

Smith insisted coaches were not involved in the plan in Cape Town and had no knowledge of it

Smith insisted coaches were not involved in the plan in Cape Town and had no knowledge of it

Bancroft admitted he had panicked when he was sighted on the screens in the stadium

Bancroft admitted he had panicked when he was sighted on the screens in the stadium

‘This clearly is against the laws of the game and we’ve just had our national captain admit they sat down, premeditated, pre-planned a way to cheat.’ 

Former captain Allan Border was among scores of outraged cricket legends.

Discussing the possibility of Smith being sacked, he wrote in his Fox Sports Australia column: ‘If the ICC and the Australian board decides that Steve Smith is free to play in the fourth Test, I would be comfortable with that.

‘But equally, if he has to pay a penalty for his leadership in going down this path I’d be just as comfortable.’ 

He added: It’s hard to explain your emotions when it comes to seeing the Australian team doing something like this – you just feel embarrassed and disappointed.’

England fans demonstrated the point made by Gilchrist and have already created a new song – despite their side being bowled out for just 58 on Thursday in their match against New Zealand in Auckland.

England fans are revelling in the controversy currently shrouding the Australian cricket team

England fans are revelling in the controversy currently shrouding the Australian cricket team

The Barmy Army posted the lyrics on Facebook: ‘Steve Smith is an Aussie. He wears a baggy cap. And when he saw some sticky tape. He said I’m having that. He gave it Cameron Bancroft. Who rubbed it on the ball. Those cheating Aussie convicts. They’ll never change at all!’ 

In a press conference after play on Saturday, Smith admitted that he and senior players planned the ball-tampering at lunch on day three but said he won’t be stepping down as captain.

Millions of Australians woke up on Sunday to headlines they could scarcely believe as fans quickly bayed for blood, demanding ‘sack the lot of them.’

'The leadership group knew about it', Smith (right) admitted following Saturday's action

‘The leadership group knew about it’, Smith (right) admitted following Saturday’s action

Bancroft and Steve Smith admitted that ball tampering had taken place during the action

 

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke was among scores of outraged cricket legends who expressed their shock on Sunday morning.

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke was among scores of outraged cricket legends who expressed their shock on Sunday morning.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland was on the verge of tears as he told reporters at a press conference on Sunday morning: ‘This is a sad day for Australian Cricket.’

He has sent the head of integrity and head of team performance out to South Africa to investigate and said he will not decide on sacking any players until he has seen their report. 

Another former captain, Michael Clarke called the cheating ‘blatant’ and ‘disrespectful’ during an interview on Nine News on Sunday morning in which he also refused to rule out a return as team captain, saying: ‘If I was asked by the right people, then I would think about my answer.’ 

He said: ‘I am pretty emotional about it all, to be honest. It is going to be quite hard for me to talk about. I think I have no doubt in my mind Steve Smith will be sitting in his hotel room right now in tears. 

'I have no doubt in my mind that every past Australian cricketer will be absolutely shattered with what we found out this morning,' said Clarke

‘I have no doubt in my mind that every past Australian cricketer will be absolutely shattered with what we found out this morning,’ said Clarke

Clarke called the cheating 'blatant' and 'disrespectful' during an interview on Nine News today

Clarke called the cheating ‘blatant’ and ‘disrespectful’ during an interview on Nine News today

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke has said Steve Smith 'will be sitting in his hotel room right now in tears' after the national cricket team was caught cheating against South Africa

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke has said Steve Smith ‘will be sitting in his hotel room right now in tears’ after the national cricket team was caught cheating against South Africa

‘I have no doubt in my mind that every past Australian cricketer will be absolutely shattered with what we found out this morning.’ 

He savaged Smith for apparently asking 25-year-old Bancroft to cheat, saying: ‘This is his eighth test match. I can’t believe if the leadership group has made a decision to do this, that they have gone and got the young kid who is playing his eighth test match to do that.

‘As a leader, you can’t ask somebody to do something you are not willing to do something you are not willing to do yourself.’   

Former England captain Michael Vaughan led chorus of condemnation and criticism from other ex-players.

‘Steve Smith,his Team & ALL the management will have to accept that whatever happens in their careers they will all be known for trying to CHEAT the game,’ Vaughan tweeted.

The four-Test series between Australia and South Africa has been marred by a handful of ugly controversies, starting with a staircase clash between David Warner and Quinton de Kock.

Millions of Australians woke up on Sunday to headlines they could scarcely believe as fans quickly bayed for blood, demanding 'sack the lot of them.'

Millions of Australians woke up on Sunday to headlines they could scarcely believe as fans quickly bayed for blood, demanding ‘sack the lot of them.’

‘It’s a sad day for Australian cricket’: CEO James Sutherland’s full statement on the cheating scandal 

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland was on the verge of tears as he told reporters at a press conference on Sunday morning: ‘This is a sad day for Australian Cricket.’

He has sent the head of integrity and head of team performance out to South Africa to investigate and said he will not decide on sacking any players until he has seen their report. Here is his full statement:

Thanks for joining us. Just wanted to say at the outset that I was extremely disappointed and shocked to hear the news and read the news this morning after the events in Cape Town yesterday.

From a Cricket Australia perspective we regard this as a extremely serious issue and in a moment I will go into steps that will be put in place to understand more about it. Australian cricket fans want to be proud of their cricket team, they want to be proud of the Australian cricket team. 

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland was on the verge of tears as he told reporters at a press conference on Sunday morning: ‘This is a sad day for Australian Cricket.’

'I was extremely disappointed and shocked to hear the news and read the news this morning after the events in Cape Town yesterday,' said Sutherland

‘I was extremely disappointed and shocked to hear the news and read the news this morning after the events in Cape Town yesterday,’ said Sutherland

And I think this morning they have every reason to wake up and not be proud of the team. It’s a very sad day for Australian cricket. One of the unique things about the game of cricket is that it’s to be played not only within the laws of the game but in the spirit of the game.

And activities on the field yesterday in Cape Town are neither within the laws of the game or within the laws of the game or within the spirit of the game. And for us at Cricket Australia that’s extremely disappointing, but more importantly for Australian cricket fans it’s extremely disappointing as well. 

Cameron Bancroft was charged under the ICC code of conduct, and accepted that charge and penalty that came with it. And after the game he and Steve Smith spoke about that matter. Unfortunately that’s not the end of it and can’t be the end of it.

We have a responsibility to take this further and to understand more about the issue. And we will over the next couple of days get a deep understanding of what happened and why, and to that end I have asked our head of integrity Ian Roy to travel to South Africa today.

He has sent the head of integrity and head of team performance out to South Africa to investigate and said he will not decide on sacking any players until he has seen their report

Pat Howard, head of team performance will also go with him, and they will also go with him, and they will be on the ground in South Africa tomorrow. Ian’s brief will be to gather the relevant information that we need to address this matter and to understand it better. 

Understand that’s not necessarily the fullness of response that everyone is looking for right now, but you will appreciate that there is an element of process that needs to be undertaken here and you will understand that by appointing our head of integrity to this project it is being dealt with as a matter of urgency and seriousness. 

It will be dealt with promptly, we will work very hard over the next couple of days to get to the bottom of it, to understand the big picture, to understand the detail and to be making further comment on that in due course. 

Again, I just want to repeat two things – one is we are extremely disappointed and shocked at what we woke up to this morning and, secondly, we are dealing with this issue with the up most urgency and seriousness. Thanks

 

 



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