At the centre of the ball-tampering scandal that has hit Australian cricket, Steve Smith and David Warner have been banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia - according to a report on cricket.com.au. Batsman Cameron Bancroft, who was caught on camera using sandpaper to alter the ball's condition on the third day of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town, has also been banned for nine months.
However, Cricket Australia is yet to confirm the sanctions after it had suspended the trio on Tuesday following an investigation into the incident. After Smith's admission to planned ball-tampering by Bancroft during the third Test in South Africa, CA had launched a probe and suspended the duo along with Warner.
The Board of Cricket Control In India (BCCI) has also banned Warner and Smith from IPL 2018. IPL Commissioner Rajiv Shukla said that the franchises will get replacements for the players as they the two players embroiled in the controversy will not be allowed to play in 2018. Warner had already stepped down as captain of his IPL franchise SunRisers Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Warner also lost the contract of multinational electronics company LG amid the controversy as it has opted not to renew its contract with the 31-year-old batsman. "LG's current sponsorship of David Warner is in the final weeks and in light of recent events, we have decided not to renew our partnership," an LG spokeswoman said in a statement. Warner first started working with LG as the company's brand ambassador in 2014.
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland had earlier said that board is not comfortable after what all has happened and had added that the sanctions on the three players will be significant. He also said that from now onwards the focus of CA will be to review that conduct of their national sides and they will be participating in re-engaging with the cricket loving public to gain back the trust and respect.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann is also expected to hold a press conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday over the scandal. Lehmann has escaped any punishment despite Smith saying that the team's "leadership group" was aware of the plan to cheat. As a result, there's been a lot of uproar over Lehmann's alleged role despite him being found clean by CA.