A day after Australian captain Steve Smith and team Cameron Bancroft admitted to tampering the ball during an ongoing Test match against South Africa, the country's sports association asked the skipper to step down from captaincy immediately.
Condemning the entire episode, the Australian Sports Commission said that all athletes and teams should demonstrate “unimpeachable integrity in representing our country.”
The association also asked “any other members of the team leadership group or coaching staff who had prior awareness of, or involvement in, the plan to tamper with the ball,” to step down.
Here's the full text of the statement released by Australian Sports Commission:
Australian Sports Commission Chair John Wylie, the ASC Board and CEO Kate Palmer make the following statement in relation to events overnight concerning the Australian cricket team.
The ASC condemns cheating of any form in sport. The ASC expects and requires that Australian teams and athletes demonstrate unimpeachable integrity in representing our country.
The Australian cricket team are iconic representatives of our country. The example they set matters a great deal to Australia and to the thousands of young Australians playing or enjoying the sport of cricket and who look up to the national team as role models.
Given the admission by Australian captain Steve Smith, the ASC calls for him to be stood down immediately by Cricket Australia, along with any other members of the team leadership group or coaching staff who had prior awareness of, or involvement in, the plan to tamper with the ball.
This can occur while Cricket Australia completes a full investigation.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia said that Smith will continue as the captain while they investigate a ball-tampering scandal.
Australian opening batsman Bancroft was caught on camera fiddling with the ball with a yellow object he took out of his pocket while fielding in the post-lunch session on the third day of the Test at Newlands.
Later, Bancroft and Smith admitted to ball-tampering during a press conference. Smith further admitted that the leadership team knew about the entire scheme of events.
"We had a discussion during the break. On myself I saw an opportunity to use some yellow tape and the granules from the rough patches of the wicket to change the condition of the ball," Bancroft said.
The confession has rocked the cricketing world, with many calling it a shameful chapter in Australian cricket.
Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull weighed in on the incident today, saying it "beggars belief" that role models such as Australian cricketers were "engaged in cheating like this".