Australian government calls for Smith’s head


Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chair John Wylie and other top officials have issued a statement that calls for the removal of Steve Smith as skipper.

Smith admitted involvement in a plot to tamper with the ball in the third Test against South Africa that saw Cameron Bancroft caught red-handed.

Both Smith and vice-captain David Warner were stood down from their roles mid-Test in Cape Town.

A statement issued by the ASC read: “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.

“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.”

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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expressed shock and bitter disappointment on behalf of the people of his country and called on the Cricket Australia board to take decisive action in this matter.

Turnbull said: “We all woke 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.

“I’ve spoken with David Peever, the Chairman of Cricket Australia, a few moments ago and I’ve expressed to him very clearly and unequivocally my disappointment and my concern about the events in South Africa.

“It’s their responsibility to deal with it, but I have to say that (to) the whole nation, who holds those who wear the Baggy Green up on a pedestal, about as high as you can get in Australia this is a shocking disappointment. It’s wrong, and I look forward to Cricket Australia taking decisive action soon.”