Australia’s opening batsman Cameron Bancroft has admitted he tampered with the ball during the third Test against South Africa, and captain Steve Smith says he knew of the plan in advance.
TV footage showed Bancroft take what he said was a yellow tape out of his trouser pocket before rubbing the ball.
The 25-year-old said after the play he had been charged with attempting to change the condition of the ball.
Smith said the team’s “leadership group” had spoken about it and “thought it was a way to get an advantage”.
How the incident unfolded ?
When the ball was thrown to Bancroft, TV footage showed the fielder take an object out of his pocket before rubbing the ball, then putting something back in his pocket.
After footage of the incident was broadcast, a message appeared to be sent out to him on the field. He put the tape down the front of his trousers before being spoken to by on-field umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth.
At that point he turned out his pockets, revealing only a black cloth.
The umpires did not change the ball, and images of the incident on the big screen resulted in some booing from spectators.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the ‘cheating’ incident:
Please raise your voice for banning Smith and Warner in playing IPL, they cannot represent any Indian teams for sake of spirit #AussieCheats
— Nilesh Asawa (@AsawaNilesh) March 26, 2018
#AussieCheats 1. Plot a murder, 2. Carry out murder, 3. Say sorry 😃😄😄 Pardoned.
— Abhay Asai (@AbhayAsai) March 26, 2018
#SandpaperGate #SAvsAUS #Bancroft #SteveSmith #AussieCheats They sledge, intimidate, speak thrash, break the rules & do all sorts of bullcrap, & now this. New low in Cricket. Smith and his gang of thugs should be banned! They never play fair. A sore bunch of losers!
— Varun N Rao (@raovarunn) March 26, 2018
— Pankaj Kakkar (@kakkarp) March 26, 2018
When #SteveSmith and his team mates sit together and devise a plan to cheat, then it is no longer a case of ball tampering, it becomes a case of match fixing. 1 match ban for match fixing is unacceptable. #AussieCheats
— Venky (@venky_r_s) March 26, 2018
— Raven 🐦(srishti) (@Thugni_kahiki) March 25, 2018
The thing about these #AussieCheats is that they would never have thought themselves lacking in integrity if they had not been caught. They would've crowed about their excellence. Now it's all crocodile tears and snot #SAvAUS
— Truxta (@Truxta) March 26, 2018
Really sad and shocked to see a role model like @stevesmith49 and his management could do such a disgraceful thing. I hope the world of cricket gets over the this terrible disaster. We cant afford this; Cricketers should know better. #AussieCheats #CricketAustralia #SAvAUS
— Diyatom Deb (@DiyatomDeb) March 26, 2018
— मुसाफिर (@amrit48) March 24, 2018
@ICC for @CricketAus @stevesmith49 @cbancroft4 one match ban and 75% match fee will not even bother them who has done such cheap thing in the so called gentlemen's game. Do some serious damage to their carrier.#AussieCheats
— Ashish (@ashish_ashishh) March 26, 2018
The Godfather Down Under:
The captain and 'leadership group' hatch a plan.
They pick a 'hitman' for the 'job'.
Omerta kicks in.
Will plot, cheat and lie, but wont talk. So honorable.#SandpaperGate #SAvsAUS #Bancroft #SteveSmith #AussieCheats
— Kasturi Shankar (@KasthuriShankar) March 24, 2018
— Wisdemise (@YehKyaTweetHai) March 26, 2018
The punishment @ICC has given to Australian cricket team is not enough..Cricket is a gentlemen's game and we fans should make sure that it remains one…So #Istandagainstbad #Banthebad #BanAussies #AussieCheats 😡
— Titas Ganguly (@titas_ganguly) March 26, 2018
— News18 (@CNNnews18) March 25, 2018
— Geoff Cameraman (@n55ffc) March 25, 2018
Looks like the Ashes result from this winter should be rendered null and void #Aussiecheats surely Smith Lehmann have to be banned
— Russell Dutton 🏴 (@RussellDutton) March 24, 2018
This “confession” & “regret” #BallTampering is so qualified with them saying it didn’t change the condition of the ball and the umpires didn’t find anything wrong with it. Trying to get away with it “technically” #AussieCheats pic.twitter.com/vG0mcsqB4G
— Yusuf Unjhawala 🇮🇳 (@YusufDFI) March 25, 2018
#AussieCheats Its a shame trying to win matches in this way. Its wilful act. Steve Smith can be banned for life on account of "brain fade" and this latest incident. He is not fit enough to be a captain. He shd be removed as captain from IPL team
— Ravisankar (@Raviprs53) March 26, 2018