Ball-tampering: Watch, Cameron and Smith plan to cheat

It's an unprecedented step by the leader of the nation - not a noted sports fan - and it leaves no doubt that Smith's position is now untenable after his admission of pre-meditated ball tampering during the third Test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town.

Australia's cricketers had admitted on Saturday to ball tampering with a piece of sticky yellow tape in a stunning public confession.

In a massive blow for what is left of the Spirit of the Game, Steve Smith's side have been caught blatantly trying to ball-tamper and cheat in a series with South Africa that is quickly slipping away from them.

"He has said to me that Cricket Australia will be responding decisively, as they should".

There have been calls for Smith to step down or be sacked, after the captain admitted being the mastermind.

Steve Smith's predecessor Michael Clarke has teed off on the Australian cricket team for ball tampering, labelling it "premeditated cheating" and "disgraceful". He may not have a choice.

"Steve Smith has said that management were not involved, that the coaches knew nothing about it". They chose to use a piece of yellow adhesive tape to try and pick up loose dirt on the pitch and use it to rough up the ball. Australia's cricket team is its biggest sports team and as fiercely supportive as Australians are, they are also fiercely critical if the team has done wrong.

Smith and Warner will continue as regular members of the team.

Cricket South Africa appealed the verdict, and du Plessis said he was unfairly made a scapegoat for doing something that cricketers all over the world have long done. Smith said that it is the first time that such an incident is happening under his captaincy.

Hogg, who comes from the same Perth club as Bancroft and has known him since he was 13, pointed the finger of blame directly at Smith. "I am not naming names but the leadership group was who talked about it and "Bangers" (Bancroft) was around at the time. 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. Moments after it was aired on the giant screen at Newlands, 12th man Peter Handscomb was on the ground passing on a message to Bancroft.

Panicking when the on-field umpires become interested, Bancroft resorts to hiding the offending piece of yellow tape down the front of his pants. "But once I was sighted on the screens and having done that, that resulted in me shoving it down my pants", he added.

"This Test match needs to proceed, and in the interim we will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands", CA chief executive James Sutherland said. Cricket Australia intervened and banned David Warner for two matches and also tried to downplay the incident in order to prevent the Ashes series preparations to be impacted. I'm not happy about this at all. For us at Cricket Australia that's extremely disappointing but more importantly it's extremely disappointing for Australian cricket fans.

"If I was asked by the right people, then I would think about my answer", Clarke said. "We don't need to cheat to beat anybody".

Australia must do what is "right and proper" and forfeit the test against South Africa, says Australian radio broadcaster Alan Jones. The Australian teams have always claimed to play hard but fair, and to rarely "cross the line" in cricket.

  • Julie Sanders