David Warner has been revealed as the main plotter behind the sandpaper ball-tampering scandal which cost him his job.
The former Australian vice-captain orchestrated the scheme in South Africa on Saturday and even showed rookie Cameron Bancroft how to do it.
Warner will likely never lead his country again and was banned for a year, the national cricket governing body ruled on Wednesday, but it has emerged he is considering an appeal.
David Warner (pictured with wife Candice) has been revealed as the main plotter behind the sandpaper ball-tampering scandal which cost him his job
The former Australian vice-captain orchestrated the scheme and will never lead his country again
But the opening batsman, who has 74 Test caps for Australia, is likely to appeal his ban from Cricket Australia
David Warner, Steve Smith (pictured) and Cameron Bancroft have all been banned from cricket for cheating against South Africa
Steve Smith was also sacked of his leadership and given the same 12-month ban from all international and domestic cricket after the biggest cheating scandal in the game’s history.
He will not be be able to captain Australia for a further year after returning to cricket.
Wicket keeper Tim Paine has been announced as the new captain and will lead the Baggy Greens in his first match in charge at the Bullring on Friday.
Smith was seen arriving at Johannesburg airport late on Wednesday night as he returns home in shame, while Warner and Bancroft will follow them soon.
Cameron Bancroft, the 25-year-old opening batsman who was only playing in his eighth test, has also been sent home and banned for nine months.
In a long statement issued by Cricket Australia, the charge sheet revealed Bancroft was even taught by Warner how to tamper with the ball.
Smith was on Wednesday night seen leaving the team hotel in Johannesburg with a police escort
Smith and Warner have been banned for a year and have also been dumped by their Indian Premier League sides, costing them millions of dollars
Smith is escorted by police officers through Tambo International Airport after he was banned for 12-months by Cricket Australia
The plan unraveled in spectacular fashion as cameras caught their failed attempts to alter the condition of the ball to make it swing as they chased wickets on the third day in Cape Town.
Reports in several publications throughout Australia say Warner is considering appealing his ban.
Alistair Nicholson, the Australian Cricketers Association chief executive, has been in Johannesburg and said legal and welfare support is being provided.
‘The players are remorseful for the mistakes they have made,’ he said.
‘And they regret how their actions have represented themselves, team mates, cricket and their country.
The disgraced trio, who conspired to tamper with the ball, were found to have used sandpaper in an attempt to illegally create reverse swing. Pictured: Smith is escorted by police out of South Africa on Wednesday
Warner will miss out on cricket for a year and a lucrative $2.4 million contract with the IPL
‘Welfare of all players is a highly relevant consideration.’
Smith is said to be struggling and there have been concerns raised about his mental state after the scandal broke on Saturday night.
The 28-year-old, who has played 64 Tests and 108 one-day internationals for Australia, was said to be a ‘tearful wreck’ in the aftermath, according to The Australian.
But Warner is less likely to accept the ban and has reportedly fallen out with teammates.
Steve Smith (centre) leaves his team’s hotel in Johannesburg en route to the airport after learning of his one-year ban on international and domestic cricket
Warner (right) and Smith (left) were handed year-long bans by Cricket Australia for cheating against South Africa
Smith (pictured with fiancee Dani Willis) and Warner were sanctioned for their roles in the ball tampering scandal, which has embroiled Australian cricket since Saturday
Smith and Warner were stood down as captain and vice captain after they encouraged Cameron Bancroft to ball tamper with sandpaper during the third Test against South Africa (pictured)
All three players were reprimanded under article 2.3.5 of the Cricket Australia Code of Conduct.
Smith was found to have knowledge of the plan and not preventing it, encouraging Bancroft to conceal it and ‘mislead match officials’.
But the investigation carried out since Sunday revealed Warner was the one responsible for ‘development of a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball’.
He was also found to have instructed and advised ‘a junior player’ to alter the ball’s condition.
Warner (pictured with wife Candice) and Smith were sent home along with Bancroft on Wednesday
The disgraced trio, who conspired to tamper with the ball, were found to have used sandpaper in an attempt to illegally create reverse swing.
Bancroft then told reporters after play on Saturday – as Smith quietly sat by his side – that a piece of yellow tape covered in dirt was used to affect the ball, not sandpaper.
He was also suspended because he carried out Warner’s orders before ‘misleading match officials’ and the media.
The 12-month bans for Smith and Warner means both star batsmen will be free to play in the next Ashes series and the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
Bancroft (pictured) was handed a slighter shorter cricket ban of nine months
CA confirmed the suspensions for the disgraced trio later on Wednesday (pictured is Smith with fiancee Dani Willis)
CA chief executive James Sutherland said he was ‘satisfied’ with the ‘significant’ sanctions.
The trio are banned from both international and domestic matches, but are allowed to play club cricket.
The ban was confirmed by Smith himself in the lobby of his Johannesburg hotel, where he was seen smiling with Bancroft before boarding a flight back home.
The ban was confirmed by Smith (right) himself in lobby of his hotel before boarding a flight back home
He was seen offering a smile alongside Bancroft after the pair learned their bans
Sutherland on Wednesday night said in a statement: ‘I am satisfied that the sanctions in this case properly reflect a balance between the need to protect the integrity and reputation of the game and the need to maintain the possibility of redemption for the individuals involved, all of whom have learned difficult lessons through these events.
‘The CA Board understands and shares the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about these events. They go to the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport and the penalties must reflect that.’
All three players have also been ordered to undertake 100 hours of service in community cricket.
CA chief executive James Sutherland (pictured) said he was ‘satisfied’ with the ‘significant’ sanctions imposed
Smith is also set to be banned from the Indian Premier League, costing him a $2.4million contract
Warner (pictured with wife Candice) relinquished his captaincy of Indian Premier League side SunRisers Hyderabad over the scandal
Sutherland added: ‘These are significant penalties for professional players and the Board does not impose them lightly. It is hoped that following a period of suspension, the players will be able to return to playing the game they love and eventually rebuild their careers.’
Smith and Warner will forgo millions of dollars as they are also set to be banned from participating in the IPL.
They were both due to captain their sides: Smith for the Rajasthan Royals and Warner for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BBCI) senior official said an IPL ban for the pair is imminent, as any player suspended by their host body cannot participate.
An internal investigation by CA found only star batsmen Smith and Warner (pictured with wife Candice), and the side’s most junior player Bancroft, were aware of the plot to ball tamper
Coach Darren Lehmann (pictured) was spared by the investigation, despite saying he was aware of ‘techniques’ being used by his side to gain an advantage over batsmen before his players were caught ball tampering
‘Obviously, there are techniques used by both sides to get the ball to reverse and that’s just the way the game goes – I have no problems with it,’ Lehmann said after the first Test in Durban
Lehmann held onto his job despite TV images of him talking to 12th man Peter Handscomb on a walkie-talkie moments before the latter entered the field of play to talk to Bancroft
An internal investigation by CA found only team leaders Smith and Warner, and the side’s most junior player Bancroft, were aware of the Australian plot to ball tamper.
Coach Darren Lehmann was cleared of any involvement in the plot and was reportedly fuming when he found out.
Sutherland (pictured) said on Wednesday the message from Lehmann was: ‘What in the hell is going on’
Sutherland speaks at a press conference at the team’s hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg on Wednesday
HOW THE CHEATING SCANDAL UNFOLDED
The ball-tampering incident took place during the Saturday afternoon session in Cape Town and was picked up by TV cameras.
A small, yellow object was seen in batsman Cameron Bancroft’s hands after he had worked on the ball, the opener later claiming it was a piece of tape covered in dirt.
He was later captured taking it from his pocket and placing it down his trousers, a few moments after being spoken to by the substitute Peter Handscomb, who had come onto the field after speaking to coach Darren Lehmann via walkie-talkie.
Although the two on-field umpires, Richard Illingworth and Nigel Llong of England, questioned Bancroft at the time, he produced what appeared to be a black sunglasses bag from his right pocket in way of explanation, in a bid to deceive the officials.
‘Once I was sighted on the big screens I panicked quite a lot and that resulted in me shoving it down my trousers,’ said Bancroft.
No action was taken at the time — the umpires could have changed the ball or docked Australia runs — but match officials, including referee Andy Pycroft of Zimbabwe, were able to review TV footage of the incident.
But after the day’s play, captain Steve Smith and Bancroft admitted the ball-tampering in a press conference.
Bancroft revealed: ‘We had a discussion during the (lunch) break and I saw an opportunity to use some tape, get some granules from the rough patches on the wickets and change the condition — it didn’t work, the umpires didn’t change the ball.’
Smith continued: ‘It was a poor choice and we deeply regret our actions. The coaches weren’t involved. It was purely the leadership group who came up with this.
‘We saw this game as such an important game. We’ve seen the ball reversing through this series and this ball didn’t seem like it was going to go. It’s such poor actions. Deeply regrettable.’
Meanwhile, 33-year-old Tim Paine (pictured with wife Bonnie) was handed the role of Australian captain – a position vacated by Smith in the prime of his career
Less than two years before taking the reins from disgraced captain Smith, an injury-plagued Paine considered giving away the game to move to Melbourne and work for cricket equipment manufacturer Kookaburra
Following an impressive comeback in the 2017/18 Ashes series, Paine is now tasked with leading Australian cricket through the darkest chapter in its history