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Steve Smith Press Conference on Ball Tampering Scandal, Highlights: As It Happened

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 29, 2018, 4:35 PM IST

Highlights

15:44(IST)

On the other hand, Australian Cricketer's Association (ACA) has questioned "a number of glaring and clear anomalies" in the process leading to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft being handed lengthy bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal. The ACA, which represents professional first-class cricketers, called for a proposed review into Australia's cricketing culture to be fully independent and extend to the CA's response to the scandal.

15:34(IST)

Former Australia coach Mickey Arthur believes the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa was an inevitable result of an unwillingness to improve the culture in the country's entire cricket set-up. He said, "Despite generational change, independent reviews and too many behavioural spotfires to list, Cricket Australia and the national team had demonstrated no real willingness or desire to improve the culture within their organisation from season to season.

15:34(IST)

Former Australia coach Mickey Arthur believes the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa was an inevitable result of an unwillingness to improve the culture in the country's entire cricket set-up. He said, "Despite generational change, independent reviews and too many behavioural spotfires to list, Cricket Australia and the national team had demonstrated no real willingness or desire to improve the culture within their organisation from season to season.

15:28(IST)

The loss of Smith and Warner robs Australia of their two leading batsmen – but neither made a major impact in the first three matches. Their replacements, Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Glenn Maxwell will only have one practice opportunity before the Test, but all three arrive with good recent form in Australia’s Sheffield Shield competition. While Renshaw and Burns are set to open the batting in place of Warner and Bancroft, Smith’s place is expected to be taken by Peter Handscomb, the reserve batsman on tour, with Maxwell likely only to have a back-up role. Handscomb’s only match practice since the tour started was in the warm-up game against South Africa A last month when he failed in both innings.

15:21(IST)

The Australian bowling unit remains intact but there will be three enforced changes in the batting line-up as the tourists seek to avoid the first series loss by Australia in South Africa since Ali Bacher led the team then known as the Springboks to a 4-0 clean sweep in 1969/70. South Africa lead the current series 2-1 and captain Faf du Plessis said after his team won the third Test in Cape Town by 322 runs that he was determined to maintain the pressure on his opponents.

15:12(IST)

Meanwhile the final Test between Australia and South Africa starts on Friday in Johannesburg. South Africa coach Ottis Gibson has warned that Australia will provide strong opposition, even without the disgraced trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. "We hope they're very shattered," Gibson said of the turmoil around the opposition camp. "But they're still a good team with very good players. I'm still a huge fan of their fast bowling attack."

15:01(IST)

Contrary to various media reports, Lehmann said the trio of players had the backing of the entire team, despite their actions. "When you lose three men in your team, who obviously made a mistake, that hurts all of us. Saying goodbye to them is difficult. "The whole group is upset and we understand the enormity of it and the public perception. We have to try and win the fans back over and play the best cricket we can.

14:54(IST)

An emotional Lehmann, cleared of any wrongdoing by a Cricket Australia investigation, told reporters on Wednesday that the banned players, Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, were "not bad people" and called for them to be given a second chance as he expressed concerns over their mental state. The coach also said the team would need to improve their behaviour on and off the pitch in order to win back fan respect after Bancroft was caught tampering with the ball in the 322-run third test defeat by South Africa at Newlands.

14:49(IST)

Earlier on Tuesday, Cricket Australia on Tuesday announced that Australian coach Darren Lehmann had no prior knowledge about the ball tampering plans. But the coach in a conference apologised to the public and called for forgiveness for the "grave mistake" made by the trio of test players banned for their role in the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked the sport. 

14:42(IST)

Meanwhile reactions are pouring in after the press conference. The latest to join the list is former pacer Ran Harris. 

14:38(IST)

In a post Warne had said, "Like every other Australian and cricket lover around the world was shocked and angered by what we saw in Cape Town. To hear that the Australian cricket team had been involved in pre-mediated cheating is something that is embarrassing. There is no way you can condone it. We are all so hurt and angry and maybe we weren’t so sure how to react. We’d just never seen it before. But the jump to hysteria is something that has elevated the offence beyond what they actually did, and maybe we’re at a point where the punishment just might not fit the crime.

14:36(IST)

Amid all the drama surrounding the ball tampering controversy and the bans, former Australian cricketer Shane Warne feels that excessive penalty was handed out to the culprits.

14:31(IST)
14:30(IST) The reactions have started to pour in now and Michael Clarke is the first one to say something
14:23(IST)

Smith: “It hurts ... I'm deeply sorry. I love the game of cricket. I love entertaining young kids ... I just want to say sorry for the pain I've brought to Australia, to the fans and the public,” he signed off!

14:22(IST)

Smith: “I don't blame anyone. I'm the captain of the Australian team. It's on my watch and I take responsibility for what happened last Saturday.” Smith was simply inconsolable during the entire length of the small presser and he broke down multiple times. He spoke about how let his family down, his dad and mom and burst into tears!

14:19(IST)

Smith: “If any good can come of this, if there can be a lesson to others then I hope I can be a force for change. I know I'll regret this for the rest of my life. I'm absolutely gutted. I hope in time I can earn back respect and forgiveness. Cricket is the greatest sport in the world. It's been my life and I hope it can be again. I'm sorry and I'm absolutely devastated.”

14:18(IST)

Smith breaks down during the presser and says: "Smith: To all of my teammates, to fans of cricket all over the world and to all Australians who are disappointed and angry. I'm sorry. I take full responsibility ... There was a failure of leadership, of my leadership. I'll do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it's caused"

14:14(IST)

Steve Smith is about to enter the room as his media manager is currently asking the journalists to keep it easy and he also says that Smith has been 'very emotional' the past few days and therefore he will make a brief statement and will take few questions as well. 

14:02(IST)

Listing the anomalies, the ACA pointed out that the bans imposed by CA were considerably lengthier than any that the world governing body (ICC) had handed down in the past for similar offences. It also questioned why CA's public statements had not referenced contextual factors "including the environment in South Africa during the series" and criticised the rush to put the players before the media without considered and coherent advice.

13:58(IST) This means 2 PM IST!
13:55(IST)

Meanwhile, the Australian Cricketer's Association (ACA) has questioned "a number of glaring and clear anomalies" in the process leading to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft being handed lengthy bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal. The ACA, which represents professional first-class cricketers, called for a proposed review into Australia's cricketing culture to be fully independent and extend to the CA's response to the scandal. "There are a number of glaring and clear anomalies in the process to date which causes the ACA to query the severity and proportionality of the proposed sanctions," the organisation said in a statement on Thursday.

13:51(IST)

As banned Australian cricketer Steve Smith left for Sydney from Johannesburg airport on Wednesday, he was humiliated by the crowd present there. Smith faced boos accompanied with chants of "cheat", as he started his journey back home. The former Australian captain was surrounded by police officers and was led by the hand through the airport. The cricketer did not answer any questions thrown at him by the reporters.

13:46(IST)

Meanwhile, the third person involved in the scandal, David Warner also apologised earlier today: "To cricket fans in Australia and all over the world: I am currently on my way back to Sydney. Mistakes have been made which have damaged cricket. I apologise for my part and take responsibility for it. I understand the distress this has caused the sport and its fans.  It's a stain on the game we all love and I have loved since I was a boy. I need to take a deep breath spend time with my family, friends and trusted advisers. You will hear from me in a few days."

13:42(IST)

Steve Smith presser update: The journalists are still waiting inside the conference room for the tainted Aussie skipper to arrive. Smith is about to speak in Sydney, where he arrived from South Africa after been handed with the ban. It will be interesting to see what he has got to say now apart from apologising yet again.. like Bancroft did in his presser.

13:37(IST)

Meanwhile, Steve Smith and David Warner have been banned from taking part in the Indian Premier League by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in the aftermath of the ball tampering controversy. "The CoA, in consultation with BCCI Acting President Mr CK Khanna, IPL Chairman Mr Rajeev Shukla and BCCI Acting Hon. Secretary Mr Amitabh Choudhary, has decided to ban Mr Smith and Mr Warner with immediate effect from participation in IPL 2018. The BCCI hopes that the cricketers participating in the IPL hold the highest regard for the Spirit of Cricket and Code of Conduct for Players and Match Officials," the BCCI statement read.

13:32(IST)

Also, here is a statement from the Cricket Australia officials, condemning the act of the trio: "As I indicated yesterday (Tuesday), the CA Board understands and shares the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about these events. They go to the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport and the penalties must reflect that. These are significant penalties for professional players and the Board does not impose them lightly. It is hoped that following a period of suspension, the players will be able to return to playing the game they love and eventually rebuild their careers," said David Peever, Cricket Australia Chairman.

13:29(IST)

A small recap as we wait for Steve Smith to arrive and speak for the first time since being handed with a 12-month ban. Australia skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been banned by Cricket Australia from playing cricket for the country for 12 months for ball-tampering, on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Cameron Bancroft has been suspended for nine months by the Australian cricket body. This sanction means that Smith and Warner will be able to return just in time for the ICC World Cup 2019 but the duo will miss the India series at home, which is scheduled to be played in November this year.

13:27(IST)

Bancroft: “It's going to be a really long road particularly for myself to earn that respect back but for me that's the most important thing.” With that, the Bancroft conference comes to an end. The Aussie opener seemed remorseful right through the time he was present for the conference. Also, he seemed to have made a vow to return to cricket and win everyone’s trust back.

13:22(IST)

Bancroft: “I have never ever been involved in tampering with the ball (before now) and it clearly compromises my values and what I stand for as a player and as a person. It's so big because the action of doing it is completely wrong. For me to carry that out in front of world cricket and to be seen breaking the laws of the game, not playing within the spirit of the game, it's completely how cricket shouldn't be played.”

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Steve Smith Press Conference on Ball Tampering Scandal, Highlights: As It Happened

Steve Smith break down during conference. (AFP Image)

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Catch all the live updates of the Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft press conference on ball tampering scandal.

Preview:

Australia skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been banned by Cricket Australia from playing cricket for the country for 12 months for ball-tampering, on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Cameron Bancroft has been suspended for nine months by the Australian cricket body. This sanction means that Smith and Warner will be able to return just in time for the ICC World Cup 2019 but the duo will miss the India series at home, which is scheduled to be played in November this year. "Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft will not be considered for team leadership positions until a minimum of 12 months after the conclusion of their respective suspensions from international and domestic cricket. Any consideration of future leadership would be conditional on acceptance by fans and the public, form and authority among the playing group. David Warner will not be considered for team leadership positions in the future," CA said in a statement.

The CA officials also came down heavily on the disgraced cricketers and said that the penalties have been given to the trio to save the integrity and reputation of the country as far as sports in concerned. "As I indicated yesterday (Tuesday), the CA Board understands and shares the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about these events. They go to the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport and the penalties must reflect that. These are significant penalties for professional players and the Board does not impose them lightly. It is hoped that following a period of suspension, the players will be able to return to playing the game they love and eventually rebuild their careers," said David Peever, Cricket Australia Chairman. "As the Chairman has noted, the sanctions we have announced are significant for the individuals involved. That is why the process has had to be thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined. I am satisfied that the sanctions in this case properly reflect a balance between the need to protect the integrity and reputation of the game and the need to maintain the possibility of redemption for the individuals involved, all of whom have learned difficult lessons through these events," said James Sutherland, Cricket Australia CEO.

Both Smith and Warner had already stepped down as captains of their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) teams and after this latest sanction by Cricket Australia, the BCCI have sprung into action and banned the disgraced duo from the cash-rich league altogether. Speaking to CNN News 18, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said: "I am not aware of the punishment as dissed out by Cricket Australia but if they (Warner and Smith) are banned by their own cricket body then they won't take part in the IPL." Meanwhile, IPL commissioner Rajiv Shukla also said that the Aussie duo won't be allowed to take part in the league and the SRH and RR will get a chance to replace the two banned players. "The franchises will get replacements for the players as they (David Warner and Steve Smith) will not be allowed to play this year," Rajiv Shukla told media-persons. Cricketnext had broken this story first as earlier, a senior BCCI official had said that all speculations mean nothing if the CA bans them for even two months as any player banned by his host body cannot be a part of the IPL.

“To be honest, I don’t understand what all the cry is about. If the CA goes ahead and bans them, there is no way that the IPL franchises can accommodate them, just like Andre Russell had to skip the IPL after he was caught violating doping clauses. If CA says that they have decided to ban the two players, that is where it all ends for them as far as IPL 11 is concerned. The IPL GC actually has no role,” the official had said. Earlier, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland had announced that the troika of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will be sent back home on Wednesday and Matthew Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns had been named as replacements for them for the final Test against South Africa. “Prior knowledge of the plan in question was with Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft only. No one knew about the plan other than these three. Darren Lehmann the coach was not in the know how and will continue as the coach of the team. All three players will be sent back to Australia on Wednesday and their replacements will come in within 24 hours,” Sutherland stated. “Darren Lehmann has not resigned or offered to step down as the coach of the team, and will continue in the capacity of coach with the team.”

Sutherland, who began his press briefing in Johannesburg with heartfelt apologies to the Australian and South African cricketing fraternity and the rest of the world has promised that after Cricket Australia’s probe is completed ‘significant sanctions’ will be announced within the next 24 hours. Sutherland, on his part has promised a thorough probe into the scandal before further decisions are announced. On behalf of Cricket Australia, I want to apologise to all Australians that these events have taken place, especially to all the kids." He added: "I want to also apologise to Cricket South Africa and South African fans that this issue has overshadowed what should have been a great series." "In view of the broader reputational and integrity issues involved, the sanctions that will be contemplated are significant. The process must be balanced therefore thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined." Smith has already been suspended for one Test and docked his entire match fee by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his role in the affair.

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RankTeamPointsRating
1 India 4016 115
2 South Africa 3712 106
3 Australia 3499 106
4 England 4722 105
5 New Zealand 2354 102
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