Ball-tampering: Steve Smith, David Warner step down as Australia captain and vice-captain

Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine has been asked to lead the side in the ongoing third Test in South Africa.

Ball-tampering: Steve Smith, David Warner step down as Australia captain and vice-captain
File photo of Steve Smith and David Warner (Reuters)

After admitting to ball-tampering, Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner have stepped down as captain and vice-captain, respectively, for the ongoing third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. 

Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine has been appointed to lead the visitors after Smith and Warner decided to give up their roles.

Cricket Australia, meanwhile, has launched a probe and had decided to keep Smith in the role of captain until the end of the investigation. But amid calls of Smith's ouster, the duo decided to relinquish their leadership position. 

"Following discussions with Steve Smith and David Warner, they have agreed to stand down as Captain and Vice-Captain respectively for the remainder of this Test match," Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland said.

"This Test match needs to proceed, and in the interim, we will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands," he added. "Both Steve and David will take to the field today under Tim's captaincy."

The ball-tampering allegations became true on Sunday when Smith said his side deliberately tried to tamper with the condition of the ball on the third day of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday in an orchestrated attempt to gain an advantage.

Smith and senior players conspired to change the condition of the ball using sticky tape and grit from the pitch during the third Test at Newlands with Australia`s opening batsman Cameron Bancroft caught on camera using the tape.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) charged Bancroft, the most junior member in the side at 25, of trying to change the condition of the ball. The governing body could dish out a one-match ban and a 100 percent fine of match fee to Bancroft. 

(With Agency Inputs)

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