David Warner confirmed as the mastermind behind cheating disgrace

Disgraced former captain Steve Smith and David Warner have received 12-month bans by Cricket Australia (CA) for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal. 

The body also confirmed that Warner, vice-captain at the time, was the mastermind behind the attempt to manipulate the match ball in the third Test of Australia’s tour to South Africa.

Cameron Bancroft, the perpetrator of the incident, received a nine-month ban. CA also said that it was sandpaper after all that was used, not a piece of tape as was claimed by Bancroft.

The ban extends to “all international and domestic cricket”.

CA chief James Sutherland said he is satisfied that appropriate punishments have been meted out to match the offences:

“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,” he said.

“As indicated, Cricket Australia will provide more details of an independent review into the conduct and culture of our Australian men’s team in due course.” 

It’s a scandal that has dominated cricket headlines and dragged Australia’s reputation through the mud ever since Bancroft was caught red-handed on camera before attempting to hide the sandpaper down his pants. Smith would go onto admit after the game that the effort followed a premeditated discussion by the team’s “leadership”.

Soon after the reports of the CA ban emerged, Indian Premier League chairperson Rajeev Shukla announced that Smith and Warner have been barred from the T20 competition this year.

The two play for the Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, respectively, and were both on $1.9-million contracts.

The full CA findings are:

Steve Smith was charged with a breach of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct based on:

(a) knowledge of a potential plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(b) failure to take steps to seek to prevent the development and implementation of that plan;

(c) directing that evidence of attempted tampering be concealed on the field of play;

(d) seeking to mislead Match Officials and others regarding Bancroft’s attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball; and

(e) misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent and participants of the plan.

David Warner was charged with a breach of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct based on:

(a) development of a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(b) instruction to a junior player to carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper;

(c) provision of advice to a junior player regarding how a ball could be artificially altered including demonstrating how it could be done;

(d) failure to take steps to seek to prevent the development and/or implementation of the plan;

(e) failure to report his knowledge of the plan at any time prior to or during the match;

(f) misleading Match Officials through the concealment of his knowledge of and involvement in the plan; and

(g) failure to voluntarily report his knowledge of the plan after the match.

Cameron Bancroft was charged with a breach of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct based on:

(a) knowledge of the existence of, and being party to, the plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper;

(b) carrying out instructions to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(c) seeking to conceal evidence of his attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(d) seeking to mislead Match Officials and others regarding his attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball; and

(e) misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent, implementation and participants of the plan

Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham

Luke Feltham runs the Mail & Guardian's sports desk. He was previously the online day editor.

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