Qantas Tour of South Africa
Smith not on plane home from Cape Town
Australia captain will miss final Test in Johannesburg but has not departed South Africa, contrary to reports
Sam Ferris in Cape Town
26 March 2018, 12:14 PM AEST
Contrary to reports, Steve Smith has not left South Africa following Australia’s crushing third Test loss at Newlands.
Fox Sports had reported on Monday morning that Smith was due to arrive home from Cape Town later in the day, but cricket.com.au understands Smith has remained with the touring party as Cricket Australia begins its internal investigation into the ball tampering scandal that has seen the 28-year-old suspended for the fourth Test.
Later on Monday, CA confirmed that none of the touring party had flown home.
"Cricket Australia can confirm that all members of the touring Test squad currently remain in South Africa," a statement read.
"Multiple media reports that suggest players have departed South Africa for home ports are inaccurate.
"At this stage, players will remain in South Africa to assist CA with inquiries.
"Any outcomes from that process will be communicated in due course."
Smith stood down as Test captain on the fourth and final morning at Newlands before International Cricket Council chief executive David Richardson banned Smith for one Test for conduct that is contrary to the spirit of the game after he admitted to planning to alter the condition of the ball.
Smith and senior members of the Test team devised the scheme at lunch on day three to rough up the ball with tape coated in loose pieces of the pitch.
Test rookie Cameron Bancroft was the player tasked with manipulating the ball but was caught by television coverage and “panicked” by putting the tape down the front of his trousers once he realised he’d be sprung.
Bancroft escaped suspension by the ICC but was fined 75 per cent of his match fee and handed three demerit points.
Smith was also fined 100 per cent of his match fee, with four demerit points added to his record for the next 24 months.
In the coming days, Smith and his teammates will be interviewed by CA Head of Integrity Iain Roy, the person responsible with leading the investigation into how and why the Australians came to the decision to operate outside the rules of the game to gain an advantage.
David Warner stood down as vice-captain on Sunday but has not been charged by the ICC or CA.
In Smith’s absence, wicketkeeper Tim Paine was named interim captain, and after play he said both Smith and Bancroft were not in great shape after a tumultuous few days in Cape Town.
“It’s been a horrible 24 hours,” Paine told reporters after Australia’s 322-run defeat inside four days.
“They’re struggling, but probably the reality and the enormity of what’s happened is starting to sink in.
“I don’t think we all would have expected this to be as big as it has been and particularly the fallout that we have seen from back home.”
The Australians are set to fly to Johannesburg on Tuesday ahead of Friday’s fourth Test at The Wanderers.
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