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Cricket scandal: David Warner named as ‘chief conspirator’

David Warner is said to be emerging as the ‘chief conspirator’ in the ball tampering scandal that has rocked world cricket to its core, amid a teammate’s claim captain Steve Smith isn’t to blame for the cheating in South Africa. 

Cameras captured Cameron Bancroft’s illegal attempt to scuff the ball after lunch on day three of the third Test in Cape Town, a ploy that Smith later admitted he and ‘the leadership group’ had given the green light to.

Cricket Australia bosses have been told Warner ‘was the chief conspirator and that Smith foolishly agreed,’ to cheat, though sources close to the vice-captain deny he invented the plan, according to a Fairfax report. 

David Warner (pictured with wife Candice) is said to be emerging as the ‘chief conspirator’ in the ball tampering scandal

Smith (pictured right with Cameron Bancroft) later admitted he and 'the leadership group' had given the green light to cheat

Smith (pictured right with Cameron Bancroft) later admitted he and ‘the leadership group’ had given the green light to cheat

Cricket Australia must disband a culture that has made them the most hated team in the world

This is about so much more than ball-tampering

Cameras captured Bancroft’s illegal attempt to scuff the ball after lunch on day three of the third Test in Cape Town 

CA integrity chief Iain Roy will meet with team performance manager Pat Howard and chief executive James Sutherland in South Africa on Tuesday to begin their formal review of Smith’s confession.

Warner, along with Smith and Bancroft will be among the first players interviewed, with Smith and Warner in particular expected to be suspended for ‘a stretch of time’, according to the publication.  

As the scandal deepens, a long-time teammate of both Smith and Warner said he believed the skipper wasn’t to blame, and was trying to protect a younger player when he admitted to orchestrating the cheating. 

New South Wales star all-rounder Moises Henriques said ’10 minutes of panic’ at the end of day’s play led to the press conference which has left Smith’s reputation in tatters. 

teve Smith and David Warner of Australia celebrate in the changerooms after Australia regained the Ashes during day five of the Third Test match during the 2017/18 Ashes Series

teve Smith and David Warner of Australia celebrate in the changerooms after Australia regained the Ashes during day five of the Third Test match during the 2017/18 Ashes Series

New South Wales star all-rounder Moises Henriques (left) said '10 minutes of panic' at the end of day's play led to the press conference which has left Smith's (right) reputation in tatters

New South Wales star all-rounder Moises Henriques (left) said ’10 minutes of panic’ at the end of day’s play led to the press conference which has left Smith’s (right) reputation in tatters

Smith repeatedly told media he and the ‘leadership group’ had discussed and agreed on the action.

‘In my uneducated opinion, I dare say there was never a senior players meeting to discuss cheating. Smith made that up to take the heat off a young Cameron Bancroft not realising the outrage that would follow,’ Henriques wrote on Twitter. 

Henriques, who has played four Test matches and 11 ODI’s for Australia, added that others players may have known about the plans to cheat, but it was unlikely it was contrived by the leadership group.    

‘Not saying no one was aware of Cameron doing it, just highly doubt there was a ”senior players meeting” to decide to cheat,’ he wrote.

Henriques (pictured with Warner), who has played four Test matches and 11 ODI's for Australia, added that others players may have known about the plans to cheat, but it was unlikely it was contrived by the leadership group

Henriques (pictured with Warner), who has played four Test matches and 11 ODI’s for Australia, added that others players may have known about the plans to cheat, but it was unlikely it was contrived by the leadership group

'In my uneducated opinion, I dare say there was never a senior players meeting to discuss cheating. Smith made that up to take the heat off a young Cameron Bancroft not realising the outrage that would follow,' Henriques wrote on Twitter

‘In my uneducated opinion, I dare say there was never a senior players meeting to discuss cheating. Smith made that up to take the heat off a young Cameron Bancroft not realising the outrage that would follow,’ Henriques wrote on Twitter

‘I think it was the captain attempting to protect a young player. They had 10 mins of panic between end of play & press conference.’

Henriques told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday he had been expressing his opinion with his tweets and not stating facts.  

‘I haven’t spoken to anyone [in South Africa], but Smith is a good person and would never straight out ask anyone to do that,’ he said. 

Sutherland, who is under immense pressure to strip Smith of the captaincy, will travel to Johannesburg and meet with Roy and Howard before discussing the likely punishments with CA’s board.

Australian vice-captain David Warner is pictured in a hotel lobby in South Africa on Tuesday 

Australian vice-captain David Warner is pictured in a hotel lobby in South Africa on Tuesday 

Smith has already been slapped with a one-Test ban by the International Cricket Council and will miss the series finale that starts in Johannesburg on Friday

Smith has already been slapped with a one-Test ban by the International Cricket Council and will miss the series finale that starts in Johannesburg on Friday

Smith (pictured on Tuesday) repeatedly told media he and the ‘leadership group’ had discussed and agreed on the action

Warner’s vice-captaincy also hangs in the balance, with the opener shaping as another enforced omission for the fourth Test.

Smith has already been slapped with a one-Test ban by the International Cricket Council and will miss the series finale that starts in Johannesburg on Friday. 

The ICC didn’t ban Bancroft, instead punishing his ball-tampering charge with a hefty fine and three demerit points, but CA may not be so forgiving.

Bancroft carried out the plan on Saturday then attempted to hide the evidence from umpires, while Warner was also involved in the initial discussion. 



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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