Qantas Tour of South Africa

CA findings: Burning questions answered

The key details from the initial findings of Cricket Australia's investigation into the third Test in Cape Town

Sam Ferris in Johannesburg

28 March 2018, 07:21 AM AEST

The sanctions will be significant: Sutherland

Whose idea was it to use tape on the ball?

It remains unclear exactly whose idea it was, but CA's internal investigation determined that captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft were the only players in on the plan.

Who else knew about it?

The investigation findings confirmed only the trio of Smith, Warner and Bancroft had any prior knowledge of the plan to alter the condition of the ball. No other player, member of the support staff or the head coach knew about it.

Is Darren Lehmann still the coach?

Despite various media reports in the lead-up to today's announcement suggesting Lehmann would or had resigned, Sutherland confirmed Lehmann has not stood down and is expected to see out his contract, which expires at the end of the 2019 Ashes in England.

What punishments did CA hand down to those involved?

In the short term, Smith, Warner and Bancroft have all been suspended for the final Test at The Wanderers and will head home on Wednesday (South Africa time). The trio were found to have breached article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct, which, as Sutherland paraphrased, relates to "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."

CA boss addresses media after investigation

Are further punishments coming, and how big will they be?

Yep, further sanctions are due within the next 24 hours. And they could be huge. "I want to stress that we are contemplating significant sanctions in each case," Sutherland said. "These sanctions will reflect the gravity with which we view what has occurred and the damage it has done to the standing of Australian cricket. I fully understand the appetite for urgency for more detail however urgency must be balanced with due process given the serious implications for all involved.”

With Smith going home, who is Test captain?

After acting as interim captain on day four at Newlands once Smith stood down as skipper, Tim Paine will officially become Australia’s 46th Test captain when he arrives at the toss on Friday morning. Paine is just the second Tasmanian to captain Australia in Test cricket after legendary batsman Ricky Ponting.

Will Smith lose the captaincy for good?

That piece of detail will likely be revealed when the sanctions are handed down in the next 24 hours.

So, three players are flying home; who is coming into the squad to replace them?

Australia have drafted in three batsmen; Queensland openers Matthew Renshaw and Joe Burns, and Victorian allrounder Glenn Maxwell. Peter Handscomb is also in the squad and all four players could take the field in Johannesburg.

Does the Australian cricket team have a culture problem?

"This is a reminder to us of the importance of how Australian cricket fans want their players to behave," Sutherland said. "They want to be proud of their players and clearly a situation like this is extraordinarily bad for Australian cricket and I share the anger and disappointment of Australian cricket fans in regards to this behaviour."

What comes next?

CA is set to announce the sanctions on Smith, Warner and Bancroft in the next 24 hours. Those three players will leave South Africa on Wednesday (local time), the same day Renshaw, Burns and Maxwell arrive. The Australians will not train in Johannesburg on Wednesday ahead of the fourth Test, which starts on Friday. 

Qantas tour of South Africa

South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers.

Australia squad: Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Matt Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.

Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights

First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard

Second Test South Africa won by six wickets. Scorecard

Third Test South Africa won by 322 runs. Scorecard

Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage