Former Australia coach Buchanan feels sympathy for Smith

Ball-tampering Axe hangs over Darren Lehmann Steve Smith as CA hold crisis talk

Smith, along with vice-captain David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, have been sent home by Cricket Australia for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal which has engulfed the team.

The coach reiterated that the first he knew of the ball-tampering incident was when he saw it on the big screen at Newlands, and said he was confident it was a one-off incident and had not been part of the team's playing culture in the past.

"What happened on Saturday is not something that is acceptable, especially from the Australian cricket team".

While insisting Steve Smith should be punished for ball tampering, former Australia coach John Buchanan said he feels a degree of sympathy for the axed captain. Their opposing captain in this series, South Africa's Faf du Plessis, has been charged with ball-tampering twice, and opening bowler Vernon Philander once. Border labelled him as "one of the good guys".

Smith has been fined and suspended from the fourth Test by the International Cricket Council and he and David Warner have been stood down from their positions as captain and vice-captain pending a Cricket Australia investigation.

"He's distraught. Very upset", Sutherland said of the fresh-faced skipper, renowned for being an emotional character on and off the field.

"It is a very hard time for members of Australian cricket; however, I believe there is a golden opportunity to reset the dial around player and staff behaviours, actions and decision-making", he told reporters.


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reiterated Tuesday that it had been "a shocking affront to Australia" and Cricket Australia must act "decisively and emphatically". We need to change how we play, and within that, the boundaries we play.

He argued the three players "made a grave mistake but they are not bad people".

Lehmann also backed Smith to resume his worldwide career when he had served his 12-month suspension.

Numerous experienced observers have pointed to the fact that the CA strategy announced previous year omitted the "spirit of cricket" as one of its pillars for the first time since the documents had first been drafted in the early 2000s.

"I certainly hope it's an isolated incident". He needed punishing but I think this is too harsh.

Kevin Pietersen expressed his displeasure about the decision to let Lehmann off the hook, with the former England star posting a number of laughing emojis about the claims.

This took place soon after footage emerged of Bancroft using yellow sticky tape to scuff up the rough side of the ball. "You don't have to name names, they know who they are", he told BBC Sport.

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