Australian captain Steve Smith has admitted in the post-match conference, of the leadership group being involved in the ball tempering scandal that dominated the proceedings of the third day of 3rd Test at Newlands. This comes after young opener Cameron Bancroft was alleged of using a foreign object in a bid to alter the ball conditions and make it conducive to reverse swing. A footage was aired by the host broadcaster that clearly showed Bancroft inserting a yellow tape into the trouser pocket after having hidden it between his fingers while attempting to collect the soil granules from the rough side of the pitch. The broadcast of footage on the big screen prompted sub-fielder Peter Handscomb to come onto the field and inform Bancroft about the proceedings.Bancroft panicked and flushed the paper under his trousers, that too was captured by the camera.
Cameron, who was charged with a Level 2 offense under the ICC code of conduct, admitted to the allegations during the press-conference. When Smith was conferred with the question as to whether the team management knew about it, Smith accepted the charges and stated “The leadership group knew about it. We spoke about it at lunch,” said Smith. “I'm not proud of what's happened. It's not within the spirit of the game. My integrity, the team's integrity, the leadership group's integrity has come into question and rightfully so. It's certainly not on and it won't happen again, I can promise you that, under my leadership.
“Hopefully we'll learn something from it. I'm embarrassed. I know the boys in the sheds are embarrassed as well. I feel for ‘Cam' as well,” said Smith. “It's not what we want to see in the game. It's not what the Australian cricket team's about. Being the leader of the team I'm incredibly sorry for, I guess, trying to bring the game into disrepute the way that we did today.”
Though Smith accepted the charges, he remained bullish when conferred whether he'd be stepping down from the captaincy, “No, I won't be considering stepping down. I still think I'm the right the person for the job,” Smith said. “Obviously, today was a big mistake on my behalf and on the leadership group's behalf as well.
“But I take responsibility as the captain, I need to take control of the ship, but this is certainly something I'm not proud of and something that I can hope to learn from and come back strong from. I am embarrassed to be sitting here talking about this. We're in the middle of such a great series and for something like this to overshadow the great cricket that's been played and not have a single cricket question in here, that's not what I'm about and not what the team's about.”
Meanwhile, following the uproar and the disrepute that the whole saga has brought to Australian cricket, the Aussie Prime Minister has asked Cricket Australia to sack Smith