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Ball tampering: Australian government calls for Steve Smith’s removal | Sports

Smith said on Saturday that the team’s ‘leadership group’ had spoken about a plan to tamper with the ball. Photo: Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also called the incident a ‘shocking disappointment’

In the wake of the recent ball tampering incident, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for the removal of cricket captain Steve Smith.

“It seems beyond belief the Australian cricket team have been involved in cheating. Our cricketers are role models and cricket is synonymous with fair play. How can our team be engaged in cheating like this? It beggars belief”, said the prime minister according to the BBC.

During the play on Saturday Australia opener Cameron Brancroft was caught altering the condition of the ball with a yellow object, facing a possible ban after he was caught on camera.

He 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.”

“We had a discussion during the break. On myself I saw an opportunity to use some yellow tape and the granules from the rough patches of the wicket to change the condition of the ball,” he said.

“It didn’t work, the umpires didn’t change the ball. We have this yellow tape in our kit. The actual sticky stuff itself is very sticky so I felt it could be used to collect some stuff from the side of the pitch.”

Smith now faces calls for resignation after admitting that Bancroft did not act alone.

Smith said on Saturday that the team’s “leadership group” had spoken about a plan to tamper with the ball, carried out by batsman Cameron Bancroft.

Speaking at the conference, he said, “We made a poor choice. We deeply regret our actions. Coaches weren’t involved. It was purely the players in the leadership group”.

He also added that he will not be stepping down, saying “he is the right man for the job”.

Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland has said the incident was “a very sad day for Australian cricket” but he will not be making any rash decisions on Smith’s future.

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