'Deeply disappointing' - Sponsors slam Australian cricket team over cheating

Steve Smith is the immediate casualty from the ball tampering crisis but it could also have an effect on Cricket

Steve Smith is the immediate casualty from the ball tampering crisis but it could also have an effect on Cricket

Cricket faces one of the toughest weeks in its history as the backlash grows over Australian ball-tampering, a scandal that could cost Steve Smith not only the Test captaincy but a potential life ban.

"I think we should hand the trophy to South Africa".

"They're not (doing) great, there's no doubt about that", stand-in captain Tim Paine said when asked how Smith and Bancroft were holding up.

They were later cleared of ball-tampering, however, which saw the forfeited result changed to a draw in 2008.

Two former cricket captains, South Africa's Hansie Cronje and Pakistan'sSalman Butt, both recruited younger, less experienced players in their attempts to manipulate cricket matches.

After the match was over, Steve Smith admitted to the tampering.

A key focus on the investigation being undertaken by Cricket Australia is likely to be who was involved in the decision to tamper the ball, using sticky tape to make the ball reverse swing against the South Africans.

If a player is caught ball-tampering, the umpire can impose a five-run penalty against the fielding side and order the replacement of the ball.Players may later be fined between 50% and 100% of their match fee and slapped with three or four demerit points.

Darren Lehmann and Steve Smith shared one helluva journey.

Smith had insisted while confessing to the cheating on Saturday that he wouldn't step down, and he and the team would "move past this". I am sure we can all recall recent examples in politics and business where leaders have not been able to live their values and have paid the price.

Waugh, who always believed in the sanctity of "Baggy Green" added: "The Australian Cricket team has always believed it could win in any situation against any opposition, by playing combative, skillful and fair cricket, driven by our pride in the fabled Baggy Green".

It's also perhaps the reason why former Australian cricketers like Thomson have come publicly criticising the role of the captain and urging authorities concerned to deliver harsher sanctions. It's wrong and I look forward to Cricket Australia taking decisive action soon. In addition to his punishment, Smith was also banned for one game by the worldwide governing body of cricket. He'll miss the decisive last test of the series.

"This is deeply disappointing and certainly not what anyone expects from our national cricket team", said Qantas, Australia's biggest airline whose name appears on the team's uniforms. David Warner also stood down from his role as vice-captain, while questions remain over coach Darren Lehmann although Smith said the former Australian global was not involved in the conspiracy. Any Australian cricketer, representing the country in all their worldwide ties over the next one year, stands to gain $370,000 on account of match fee.

He also, however, spoke out against the practice of "sledging" opponents, something Lehmann and his team have defended as part of the game and which had already contributed to a souring of relations with South Africa in this series.

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