(Steve Smith and David Warner in happier times.
(Steve Smith and David Warner in happier times.

Banned! Smith, Warner cop 12-month suspensions

AUSTRALIAN captain Steve Smith and David Warner have been banned for 12 months with Cameron Bancroft copping a nine-month suspension for their roles in the ball tampering scandal.

Smith and Warner can also not hold captaincy roles for two years.

The trio can appeal against the finding and the sentence, The Australian understands that Smith and Warner have already consulted lawyers in preparation.

The trio were told the news in the team hotel just after breakfast on Wednesday morning (about 6pm AEST).

Smith looked resigned to his fate as he left for the meeting and later emerged to tell his teammates who were still at breakfast. They were all grim faced as he told them.

A grim-faced Steve Smith. Picture: WP Media
A grim-faced Steve Smith. Picture: WP Media

The punishments mean the three players can't play for their state or country for the duration of the bans, but will be able to turn out for their club cricket teams.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland was due to confirm the sanctions Wednesday night (AEST), less than eight hours after fronting a press conference to announce that the trio of Australian players would be sent home.

Bancroft was caught tampering with the ball red-handed on day three of the third Test when he was filmed first rubbing the ball with the tape in his hand, then shoving the tape down the front of his pants.

The match umpires chatted to Bancroft and captain Smith on the field, and the pair later admitted to the tampering.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland announces the players would be sent home.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland announces the players would be sent home.

In the days since that stunning press conference, it's emerged Warner may have been the architect of the cheating.

 

Warner is yet to comment publicly, as is coach Darren Lehmann who has been cleared by the Cricket Australia investigation.

It's been reported Australian players have given Warner the cold shoulder for his role in the scandal.

There have also been reports that Australia's bowling group was livid with Warner, believing he may have been responsible for implications that they knew of the tampering.

The upheaval of the civil war within the Aussie dressing room and Cricket Australia's decision to send Warner, Smith and Bancroft back to Australia has devastated the Aussie team.

David Warner arrives at Cape Town International airport.
David Warner arrives at Cape Town International airport.

Former Aussie Test spinner Gavin Robertson said on Tuesday night the morale within the dressing room is so bad that players want to leave the tour and abandon the Fourth Test, beginning Friday (6pm AEST).

"They are going to break apart in the next couple days," he said.

"I spoke to people this morning, the players don't want to play the Test. Generally, they don't feel like playing because they are absolutely gutted."

The team also cancelled Wednesday night's training session with players and officials still reeling.


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