David Warner masterminded ball-tampering, Steve Smith agreed, Cameron Bancroft executed

After what transpired over the past week, camerapersons at cricket grounds may be asked to stay extra vigilant when Australia are bowling. That's how big a stain David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft have left on their country's reputation and integrity.

David Warner masterminded ball-tampering, Steve Smith agreed, Cameron Bancroft executed
Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been banned by Cricket Australia

After what transpired over the past week, camerapersons at cricket grounds may be asked to stay extra vigilant when Australia are bowling. That's how big a stain David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft have left on their country's reputation and integrity.

It will take some doing and time from the Australian team to earn back the respect of cricket fans around the world, but why the fans must limit their scorn is the possibility that not everyone in that squad may be part of it. At least the findings of  Cricket Australia's (CA) investigation into the probe confirm that. 

The findings of CA's probe clearly outline that it was vice-captain David Warner who hatched the plan to alter the condition of the ball on the third day of the third Test against South African in Cape Town. 

Smith was found guilty of knowing about it and not stepping up to stop it. Bancroft became party to the plan and acted on the instructions, using sandpaper to rough one side of the ball.

Warner and Smith were handed 12-month bans while Bancroft was banned for nine months by CA.

Known as the team's "attack dog" and often involved in controversies on and off the field, Warner issued an apology on social media. It was only after Smith and Bancroft had held press conferences to admit their mistake that Warner chose to confront the media. 

That, at least in the eye of the public and media, made him appear less repentant of the three.

What clearly shows Warner as the main culprit is the text of CA findings. 

Warner was charged with a breach of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct based on:

(a) development of a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(b) instruction to a junior player to carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper;

(c) provision of advice to a junior player regarding how a ball could be artificially altered including demonstrating how it could be done;

(d) failure to take steps to seek to prevent the development and/or implementation of the plan;

(e) failure to report his knowledge of the plan at any time prior to or during the match;

(f) misleading Match Officials through the concealment of his knowledge of and involvement in the plan; and

(g) failure to voluntarily report his knowledge of the plan after the match

Those seven points are much more serious than the ones outlined for Smith and Bancroft. 

Steve Smith was charged with a breach of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct based on:

(a) knowledge of a potential plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(b) failure to take steps to seek to prevent the development and implementation of that plan;

(c) directing that evidence of attempted tampering be concealed on the field of play;

(d) seeking to mislead Match Officials and others regarding Bancroft's attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball; and

(e) misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent and participants of the plan

CA's investigation also found Bancroft guilty of a breach, based on:

(a) knowledge of the existence of, and being party to, the plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper;

(b) carrying out instructions to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(c) seeking to conceal evidence of his attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(d) seeking to mislead Match Officials and others regarding his attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball; and

(e) misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent, implementation and participants of the plan

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