Qantas Tour of South Africa

CA's investigation: 11 things we learned

Here are the key takeaways from Cricket Australia’s investigation into the ball-tampering saga

Callum Kanoniuk in Johannesburg

29 March 2018, 06:36 AM AEST

Aussie trio banned as full details emerge

So, who did it in the end?

The investigation revealed that then vice-captain David Warner was behind the plan to alter the condition of the ball, enlisting opening batting partner Cameron Bancroft to carry it out.

Steve Smith was aware of the plan, but failed to step in and prevent it from actually happening out in the middle of Newlands.

Is it true Bancroft used sandpaper? Wasn’t it sticky tape?

Yep, it was sandpaper. Despite Smith and Bancroft fronting the media after play on Saturday where they claimed to use sticky tape to collect loose pieces of the pitch to rough up one side of the ball, it emerged that the object used was in fact a piece of sandpaper.

It isn't uncommon to see sandpaper in cricket kits as it plays a role in the maintenance of the many bats used by each player on tour.

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Whose idea was the cover-up?

All three players were deemed to be guilty of misleading the ICC match officials and the general public. 

One of the revelations in the report was that Smith was the person who told Bancroft to hide the sandpaper down the front of his trousers as the scandal began to come to light.

OK, so now that we know who was in on it, what’s the punishment?

The biggest news of the day was undoubtedly the suspensions handed down to the trio of Smith, Warner and Bancroft.

The leadership duo of Smith and Warner were each handed a one-year ban from international and Australian domestic cricket, while Bancroft was banned for nine months.

It means Australia will be without two of the world’s top-five ranked batters in Test cricket, while it puts a serious question mark on their preparation for next year’s massive winter in England that will see a World Cup followed by an Ashes tour.

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With Smith out, who's the captain now?

Tim Paine has been appointed Australia's 46th Test captain with Smith returning home from South Africa.

As part of the range of sanctions handed down, Smith won't be considered for a team leadership role for a minimum of two years.

Australia now need to find someone to lead them in the shorter formats that will include the significant task of trying to lead the side to back-to-back World Cup titles.

What about Warner? He was vice-captain. 

Warner's days as a leader of the national men's team are officially over with the 31-year-old ineligible for a leadership position for the remainder of his career.

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How about the coach? Was he involved?

It was deemed head coach Darren Lehmann had no prior knowledge of the ball tampering plan as he reiterated his plan to see out his current contract that runs through until the end of next year’s Ashes in England.

CA chief executive James Sutherland moved to end speculation surrounding Lehmann’s involvement after footage broadcast by SuperSport showed him speaking with 12th man Peter Handscomb via a walkie-talkie, leading many to suspect the coach was in on the plot.

Instead, the review revealed Lehmann was as surprised as anyone when the vision of Bancroft hiding the sandpaper was shown on the big screen, and that’s when he asked Handscomb, ‘What the f*** is going on?’

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Surely Boof knew the players had lied?

Speaking publicly about the incident for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, Lehmann said the players had also told him they used sticky tape and that he only found out the truth during CA’s investigation.

Is this the first time something like this has happened?

After CA published their key findings, Sutherland said he was satisfied that this was an isolated incident. Lehmann said he had no reason to believe his troops had tried to alter the condition of the ball in previous matches.

Smith banned, Bancroft fined in ICC sanctions

Back to the banned trio, can they play BBL?

As part of the suspensions, each player will be banned from participating in the BBL in addition to Australia’s domestic four-day and one-day competitions.

They will be available – and encouraged – to play Premier Cricket and will be required to participate in 100 hours of service to community cricket.

What about overseas cricket? Can they play in tournaments like the IPL and County Cricket?

What isn’t clear at this stage is their involvement in the various leagues overseas. Smith and Warner have already lost their lucrative IPL contracts, worth A$2.4m each, while Somerset is set to make a decision on Bancroft’s future soon. The opener had signed up to play with the county this winter.

The CA Code of Conduct doesn’t have any clear authority over domestic matches played overseas, but Cricket Australia would still need to issue No Objection Certificates.

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