Steve Smith and David Warner will stand down as captain and vice-captain for rest of Australia´s third Test match against South Africa, Cricket Australia said Sunday as it investigates a ball-tampering scandal.
Tim Paine will step in as acting captain for the remainder of the Test in Newlands, CA chief James Sutherland said in a statement.
“Following discussions with Steve Smith and David Warner they have agreed to stand down as Captain and Vice-Captain respectively for the remainder of this Test match,” Sutherland said.
On Saturday, Steve Smith had said he is embarrassed and takes responsibility for the actions of his side after they were charged with attempting to change the condition of the ball in the third test against South Africa, but he will not be stepping down as skipper.
Smith detailed an orchestrated effort from the team’s “leadership group” to use sticky tape to pick up hard granules from the pitch and rub these against the ball to try to alter its condition and get it to swing.
Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, 25, the most junior member in the side, was the player tasked with implementing the plan and he has been charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC), which could lead to a one-match ban and a 100 percent fine of his match fee.
“I’m embarrassed, the boys in the shed are embarrassed and I feel for Cam as well,” Smith told reporters.
“It is not what we want to see in the game, it’s not what the Australian cricket team is about. Being the leader of the team I am incredibly sorry for trying to bring the game into disrepute like we did today.”
A remorseful Bancroft admitted he was nervous at taking on his role in the scam and panicked when he realised that cameras in the stadium had caught him in the act, placing the tape in his underwear to keep it out of the gaze of the umpires.
“I guess once I was sighted on the (TV) screens, that resulted in me shoving it down my trousers,” Bancroft said. “I am not proud of what has happened. I have to live with the consequences and the damage to my reputation that comes with it. I will do my best to move forward and play cricket.”