Disgraced Australian cricketers Steve Smith and David Warner could face a lengthy ban in the wake of the ball tampering scandal that would see them miss the next Ashes series and the World Cup.
Smith has already been stood down as captain and has been banned for the next match in Johannesburg by the ICC (International Cricket Council) which starts on Friday.
Insiders have told the Herald Sun that the former captain and vice captain will have to be suspended for at least six months.
However with limited games for the Australian team coming up in the next six months, their punishment could be a longer suspension to incorporate more game time.
Disgraced Australian cricketers Steve Smith and David Warner could face a lengthy ban in the wake of the ball tampering scandal that would see them miss the next Ashes series and the World Cup
Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft, a relative newcomer to the team, is expected to receive a lesser punishment while coach Darren Lehmann’s position is considered untenable the sources said.
Officials from Cricket Australia are now in South Africa to investigate the scandal which included investigating the levels at which each player was complicit in the cheating scandal.
CA chief executive James Sutherland also flew to Cape Town and will have investigators report their findings to him before any potential punishment is decided on.
Cricket Australia (CA) is expected to announce the findings of its investigation on Wednesday morning.
Officials from Cricket Australia are now in South Africa to investigate the scandal before finalising their decision
CA chief executive James Sutherland also flew to Cape Town and will have investigators report their findings to him before any potential punishment is decided on
‘We know Australians want answers and we will keep you updated on our findings and next steps, as a matter of urgency,’ he said.
Cricket Australia chairman David Peever echoed the sentiments of his chief executive and said that CA will complete its due diligence before a decision is made.
Smith’s fate with Indian Premier League (IPL) side Rajasthan Royals, who he has a $2 million contract with, also hangs in the balance.
He has already quit as captain of the Rajasthan Royals on Monday with the side saying he felt it was ‘in the best interest’ of the franchise.
Smith also quit as captain of the Rajasthan Royals IPL team on Monday with the side saying he felt it was ‘in the best interest’ of the franchise
Royals co-owner Manoj Badale said they agreed with Smith’s decision saying what happened in South Africa ‘was clearly wrong’.
IPL team the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who Warner plays for, said it was too early to discuss the opening batsman’s future with them.
Ranjit Barthakur, executive chairman of the franchise, said: ‘We at Rajasthan Royals will not tolerate any actions that are unfair by definition and bring disrepute to the game of cricket.
Smith’s confession that the ball tampering plan was hatched by a ‘leadership group’ within the team has caused a stir within the ranks.
Iain Roy, CA’s head of integrity, is making inquiries about what happened in the dressing room at lunch on Saturday and on the field later that afternoon.
Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and other senior players are trying to distance themselves from the saga with insiders saying the bowlers had contacted their agents.
Coach Darren Lehmann’s (pictured left) position is considered untenable the sources told the Herald Sun
The Herald sun reports the pair, along with Josh Hazelwood, are not happy about being linked to the meeting where the idea was decided on.
If Warner and Smith are slapped with a 12 month ban in the coming days there would still be a chance they could be back on the field in time for the next Ashes series and World Cup, both to be played in the UK.
Cricket Australia is clearly in damage control and have contacted team sponsors, including Commonwealth Bank, to assure them harsh action will be taken.
Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon (pictured centre) and other senior players are trying to distance themselves from the saga with insiders saying are not happy about being linked to the meeting where the tampering idea was decided on
Commonwealth Bank, a long time major sponsor of Australian Cricket, released an official statement outlining its feelings about the cheating scandal.
‘We are disappointed about the events that have emerged from the third Test in South Africa and have asked for a full explanation from Cricket Australia following the conclusion of its investigation into this affair,’ the statement said.
Commonwealth Bank has been a major sponsor of Cricket Australia for 30 years and has sponsored the women’s team for 18 years.
They also offer two year sponsorship’s to grass roots clubs who receive $2,000 a year if successful in their applications.
While some fans have called for lifetime bans to be handed down to Smith and Warner, this outcome seems unlikely.
According to Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct, changing the conditions of the ball deliberately is in breach of Law 42.3, this covers any action that is likely to alter the condition of the ball
According to Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct, changing the conditions of the ball deliberately is in breach of Law 42.3
This covers any action that is likely to alter the condition of the ball beyond legal play, such as bat on ball or ball on pitch.
The code reads, ‘deliberately throwing the ball into the ground for the purpose of roughening it up, applying any artificial substance to the ball and applying any non-artificial substance for any purpose other than to polish the ball’.
Both Smith and Warner can be punished together under General Principles of Procedure section 5.4.
Both Smith and Warner can be punished together under the Code of conduct’s General Principles of Procedure
‘Where two or more players or player support personnel are alleged to have committed offences under the Code of Conduct, they may both be dealt with at the same hearing,’ it reads.
‘Where the proceedings arise out of the same incident or set of facts, or where there is a clear link between separate incidents…’
Factors taken into consideration when a breach of the code of conduct is proven include the seriousness of the breach, the harm caused by the breach to the interests of cricket and any remorse shown.
As well as the prior record of the player and the impact of the penalty on the player.
It does not outline the potential punishment if caught trying to alter the condition of the ball.