As Australian captain Steve Smith and vice captain David Warner sparked a controversy with their involvement in tampering the ball during an ongoing Test match against South Africa, the duo could face anything upto life bans for cheating under Cricket Australia's (CA) code of behaviour.
CA's head of integrity Iain Roy and team performance manager Pat Howard travelled to Cape Town to initiate a probe into the matter, reported Espncricinfo.
The CA Board bowed to pressure from the Australian Sports Commission to strip Smith and Warner of their leadership roles for the remainder of the Newlands Test, following their roles in orchestrating the ball tampering attempt that also involved Bancroft.
The CA chief executive James Sutherland also issued a public apology to the cricket followers of the country.
"To our Australian Cricket Fans, we are sorry," Sutherland said. "We are sorry that you had to wake up this morning to news from South Africa that our Australian Men's Cricket team and our Captain admitted to conduct that is outside both the Laws of our game and the Spirit of Cricket. This behaviour calls into question the integrity of the team and Cricket Australia."
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has, meanwhile, reacted strongly to the scandal that left the cricketing world in a big shock.
"We all work up this morning shocked and bitterly disappointed by the news from South Africa. It seemed completely beyond belief that the Australian cricket team had been involved in cheating."
"After all, our cricketers are role models and cricket is synonymous with fair play. How can our team be engaged in cheating like this? It beggars belief."
"It's wrong, and I look forward to Cricket Australia taking decisive action soon."
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.