Steve Smith and David Warner have been handed one-year bans for their role in the ball tampering saga that happened during the Newlands Test, Cricket Australia confirmed on Wednesday (March 28). Cameron Bancroft, meanwhile, has been banned for nine months.
All three have been banned from international and state cricket, but can play club cricket. In the wake of CA's decision, the BCCI too, took the call of banning Smith and Warner from the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League.
CA also confirmed that Bancroft and Smith will not be considered as captain for 12 months after the end of the ban, while Warner will not be considered as a captain in the future. The players can, however, challenge the sanctions levied against them. In addition, all three players will be required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket.
Despite Smith's confession during the third Test that the 'leadership group' was involved in the ploy to alter the condition of the ball to aid reverse swing, CA's investigation revealed that prior knowledge of the incident was confined to only three players - Smith, Warner and Bancroft.
According to the CA's release, Warner was the initiator of the plan, who not only tempted Bancroft to carry sandpaper to rough up one side of the ball, but also demonstrated tampering the ball to the youngster. Warner was also found guilty of failing to prevent the development and implementation of the plan; failing to report his knowledge of the plan; misleading Match Officials through the concealment of his knowledge, and failure to voluntarily report his knowledge of the plan after the match.
Smith learnt of the plan too, but did not take steps to prevent it from going ahead. He was found guilty on five counts including failure to prevent the implementation of the ban and misleading the public with comments regarding the nature, extent and participants of the plan.
Similar to Smith, Bancroft was found guilty on five counts, including being party to the plan, and carrying out the instructions on altering the ball.
Smith, Warner and Bancroft were found to have breached Cricket Australia Code of Conduct 2.3.5 which translates to 'conduct at any time that is contrary to the spirit of the game, unbecoming of a representative, harmful to the interests of the game, or bringing the game into disrepute'.
The decision of the severity of the bans was taken by CA Chairman David Peever, Earl Eddings, Dr Bob Every, John Harnden, Tony Harrison, Jacquie Hey, Michelle Tredenick, former players Mark Taylor and Michael Kasprowicz. The panel held the discussions for over two and half hours to determine the sanctions.
"As I indicated yesterday, the CA Board understands and shares the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about these events," Peever said. "They go to the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport and the penalties must reflect that.