Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland is heading to South Africa as part of the investigation into the ball tampering controversy that has engulfed the Test team with an update on the progress of that inquiry expected on Wednesday.
Sutherland will join CA's Executive General Manager Team Performance Pat Howard and Senior Legal Counsel and Head of Integrity Iain Roy in Johannesburg, to where the Australia team will travel on Tuesday in preparation for the final Test against South Africa starting Friday.
In a statement released late on Monday, Sutherland said he plans to meet with Roy in Johannesburg to be briefed on the investigation that was conducted with the team in Cape Town and to determine any course of action undertaken by CA.
He said the inquiry is being carried out "as a matter of urgency", and that the findings it yielded will be shared with the public to be kept updated on its progress.
CA chairman David Peever said the board of directors had been fully briefed on the issue as it stands, and he expected there would be information to share publicly within 48 hours.
“The Cricket Australia Board has been fully updated on the issue and supports James travelling to South Africa to manage the response to the investigation currently underway,” Peever said.
“We expect to be able to fully update the Australian public on the findings on Wednesday morning (Tuesday evening in Johannesburg).
“We understand that everyone wants answers, but we must follow our due diligence before any further decisions are made.”
Roy arrived in Cape Town earlier on Monday and has begun an investigation into the details surrounding last Saturday’s decision that Smith confirmed was taken by the team’s ‘leadership group’ to tamper with the ball in order to impact the outcome of the third Test, in breach of the game’s laws and ICC Code of Conduct.
The impending arrival of Sutherland in South Africa indicates that CA is considering the imposition of penalties beyond those announced by the ICC on Sunday, that saw Smith banned for the fourth Test at Wanderers and batter Cameron Bancroft fined 75 per cent of his match fee for his involvement in the controversy.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, who laid the charges against Smith and Bancroft that also cost the Australia captain his full match fee and the pair four and three demerit points respectively, issued a strongly worded warning to cricket administrations worldwide about player behaviour.
In doing so, he called on ICC member nations to take greater responsibility to ensure teams played within the laws and the spirit of the game.
“The game needs to have a hard look at itself,” Richardson said, specifically citing the ill-tempered series between Australia and South Africa and a volatile Sri Lanka-Bangladesh T20 International in Colombo.
“In recent weeks we have seen incidents of ugly sledging, send-offs, dissent against umpires’ decisions, a walk-off, ball tampering and some ordinary off-field behaviour.
“The ICC needs to do more to prevent poor behavior and better police the spirit of the game, defining more clearly what is expected of players and enforcing the regulations in a consistent fashion.
“In addition and most importantly. member countries need to show more accountability for their teams’ conduct.
“Winning is important but not at the expense of the spirit of the game which is intrinsic and precious to the sport of cricket.
“We have to raise the bar across all areas.”
CA also refuted erroneous media reports from earlier today that Smith had already left South Africa and was flying to home to Sydney, given his enforced absence from the final Test.
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: Steve Smith, David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, 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