The plan unfolded in an ugly setting of an international cricket schedule. Vice-captain David Warner created the plot to use sandpaper to alter the ball while playing against South Africa. Captain Steve Smith had full knowledge as well as consent in executing the plan and Cameron Bancroft was the one putting it to action. The nasty act was caught on camera, thanks to technology, as the opener batsman was seen hiding the “expensive bit of sandpaper” under his pants. Warner’s plan was not restricted only to this, the batsman notorious as a hot-headed one, also create the device to trick umpires, that included the act of Bancroft pulling out his black hankie when questioned by the latter.
In the press meet after the test match, Smith exposed his canny and rather, cheap attitude to lie in public. When the plot became crystal clear, Smith and Bancroft apologized referring the sandpaper to an “adhesive tape”. Additionally, the captain also helped to conceal the plan in front of umpires on field after Bancroft was caught. Thus, the trio were at fault at multiple level, deserving the right kind of punishment.
Bancroft, Warner was Smith was flown back to Australia the next day of the incident. Cricket Australia was at immense pressure on several fronts starting from fans, sponsors, broadcasters to the Prime Minister of the country. The verdict came out as 12 months ban from any form of international and domestic cricket slapped at each of the players. Additionally, David Warner is banned from captaincy for life, Smith is banned from any leadership position for 12 months after completion of his ban, while Bancroft is barred from captainship for 9 months after his 12 months ban.
However, the players are free to join club level cricket so that they could carry out the game and maintain contact with the cricket fraternity. They have seven days after the judgement to challenge it. Meanwhile, the players are replaced in the current team in South Africa. ICC suspended Smith from the fourth Test handing four demerit points and fined 100% of the match fee. Cameron Bancroft was handed three demerit points and a penalty of 75% match fee. ICC is yet to put sanctions against David Warmer. Meanwhile, Smith and Warner are dropped from captainship of IPL teams and are banned from the tournament for the upcoming season.
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