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The most anticipated press conference of the year so far happened on Tuesday. James Sutherland, the CEO of Cricket Australia addressed the press yesterday to talk about the future of their trios, the Australian bad boys- David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, and their captain Steve Smith after the ‘sandpaper gate’ incident.
Sutherland suspended captain Smith, Vice-Captain Warner and the ball-tamperer Bancroft for the final Test. They will be sent home with the “significant sanctions” that will be revealed within 24 hours, on the same day when their replacements- Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw and Glenn Maxwell reach Johannesburg. The Australians will not train on Wednesday.
Sutherland declared that coach Lehmann was not involved and would coach on, rubbing off the rumours about his resignation.
Since Smith will not play the next test, their wicket-keeper Tim Paine will officially become the 46th Test captain for the team. Also, both Smith and Warner has stood down from the IPL captaincy. Rahane will lead Rajasthan Royals while the replacement in captaincy for Sunrisers will be revealed soon.
“Earlier today (Tuesday), I received an update about the investigation being conducted by our Head of Integrity Iain Roy and in conducting his interviews he was accompanied by two ICC integrity officers,” Sutherland told reporters in Johannesburg.
“While that investigation is not complete, preliminary findings have been considered and discussed by the CA board earlier today.
“The key finding is that prior knowledge of the ball tampering incident was limited to three players: Captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
“No other players or support staff had prior knowledge and this includes Darren Lehmann, who despite inaccurate media reports, has not resigned from his position.
“He will continue to coach the Australian men’s team under his current contract.”
“The players involved have officially been reported for breaching Cricket Australia’s code of conduct under article 2.3.5.,” Sutherland said.
“The substance of the offence can be covered by terms and I paraphrase somewhat from the article: Conduct at any time that is contrary to the spirit of the game, unbecoming of a representative, harmful to the interests of the game, or brings the game into disrepute.”
“Once the investigation has concluded in the next 24 hours, sanctions will be announced and will go through the Cricket Australia code of conduct process.”