Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland met the players at their hotel in Johannesburg's Sandton district to tell them.

Ball tampering row Steve Smith Warner get 12-month bans Bancroft out for 9 monthsWiki commons
Sports Cricket Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 14:53

Australian cricketers Steve Smith and David Warner were suspended by Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday for 12 months each and Cameron Bancroft for nine months over a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, the media reported.

CA Chief Executive James Sutherland met the players at their hotel in Johannesburg's Sandton district to tell them their fate before they flew back to Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Smith broke the news to his teammates soon after he was handed his penalty. He has been stripped of the Australian captaincy, which is being taken over by Tim Paine on a full-time basis.

The unsavoury incident of the past week has left Australian cricket in a deep crisis. 

Former Aussie Test spinner Gavin Robertson told Fox Sports News on Tuesday that the morale within the dressing room is at an all-time low and players want to leave the tour mid-way and abandon the Fourth Test, starting on Friday.

"They are going to break apart in the next couple days," he said. 

"I spoke to people this morning, the players don't want to play the Test. Generally, they don't feel like playing because they are absolutely gutted.”

Meanwhile, Darren Lehmann, the coach of the Australian team has been let off without any reprimand. However, former cricketers have spoken out saying that they believe there are others involved in the scandal. 

On Saturday, during the third test against South Africa, Bancroft was captured putting a yellow object down the front of his pants moments before the umpires seemingly inquired what was in the fielder's pockets, according to Cricket Australia (CA) website.

Footage later broadcast showed Bancroft rubbing the ball and then seemingly putting an object back in his pocket. Bancroft admitted that the object used was a yellow tape.

"We just had discussions with the match officials. I've been charged with attempting to change the condition of the ball," Bancroft was quoted as saying by CA Twitter handle.

(With IANS inputs)

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