On day three, Bancroft was caught by cameras while he was attempting to change the condition of the ball with a sandpaper. The on-field umpires talked to the Australians after it was shown on big screen. However, the ball wasn’t changed.
In the meantime, head coach Darren Lehmann sent a message to Peter Handscomb over the walkie-talkie and that scene was shown on television as well.
Later in the day, Bancroft and Smith admitted their guilt to media stating that it was a pre-planned attempt. ICC then suspended Smith for one match while Bancroft was handed 75% fine and three demerit points.
Australia’s leadership group that includes Smith, Warner and Lehmann are likely to be given serious punishment by the Australian board. An investigation team has already been sent to South Africa.
Renshaw, who was dropped from the side after Bangladesh tour last year, has returned to Australia’s Test squad. He has just led Queensland to Sheffield Shield victory.
Smith and Warner have been removed from leadership roles by CA. Rajasthan Royals removed Smith and made Ajinkya Rahane as their captain for IPL 11 that kicks off next month.
Australia squad: Steve Smith, David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Matthew Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com