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Steve Smith Steps Down as Skipper, Tim Paine Named Interim Captain

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 26, 2018, 3:51 PM IST
Steve Smith Steps Down as Skipper, Tim Paine Named Interim Captain

David Warner and Steve Smith (Reuters)

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New Delhi: Steve Smith has stepped down as the captain of the Australian cricket team following the ball-tampering saga that took place during the third day of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday. Wicket-keeper Tim Paine has been made the caretaker skipper for the remaining two days of the Test.

In a statement issued by Cricket Australia, James Sutherland said: "Following discussions with Steve Smith and David Warner they have agreed to stand down as Captain and Vice-Captain respectively for the remainder of this Test match. This Test match needs to proceed, and in the interim we will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands."

"As I said earlier today (Sunday), Cricket Australia and Australian cricket fans expect certain standards of conduct from cricketers representing our country, and on this occasion these standards have not been met. All Australians, like us, want answers and we will keep you updated on our findings, as a matter of priority,” concluded Mr Sutherland.

On the board decision to appoint an Acting Captain, Cricket Australia Chairman, David Peever said: "The Board of Cricket Australia has endorsed Tim Paine to step in as Acting Captain for the remainder of this Test. Both Steve and David will take to the field today under Tim’s captaincy."

"The Board fully supports the process for an immediate investigation into what occurred in Cape Town. We regard this as a matter of the utmost seriousness and urgency. We will ensure we have all information available to make the right decisions for Australian Cricket," Mr Peever concluded.

Australia's Cameron Bancroft and captain Steve Smith admitted to ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa on Saturday, sending shockwaves through cricket.

Bancroft was caught on television cameras appearing to rub a yellow object on the ball, and later said: "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I want to be here (in the press conference) because I want to be accountable for my actions."

Smith added: "The leadership group knew about it."

Television footage appeared to show Bancroft, 25, take on object out of his pocket while fielding in the post-lunch session on the third day of the Test at Newlands.
First Published: March 26, 2018, 3:47 PM IST
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