Smith will not challenge ball-tampering ban

Steve Smith and David Warner

Disgraced former captain Smith and his deputy Warner were suspended from worldwide and domestic cricket for 12 months and Bancroft for nine months over a plot to alter the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

The three players were held responsible for trying to alter the condition of the ball after Bancroft was caught on the camera using what was later confirmed to be sandpaper on the ball on the third day of the penultimate Test.

Smith and Bancroft, who have been banned from representing Australia for 12 months and nine months respectively, said they would not contest their bans on April 4.

Meanwhile, governing body Cricket Australia has banned Smith from global cricket for a year, with Smith stepping down as Australian team captain, as well as from the Indian Premier League team on which he plays, the Rajasthan Royals.

"As a past player and past captain, I was quite shocked to see what actually took place out on the field".

Writing on Twitter he added: "I won't be challenging the sanctions".

"I have today let Cricket Australia know that I fully accept the sanctions imposed on me".

"The cultural issue for me is really an interesting thing because if we wind the clock back just a couple of months, when Australia won the Ashes like they did, there were no talks about cultural problems or issues whatsoever", Ponting said.

But the curiosity to hear the former Australia skipper's perspective on world cricket's burning issue is understandable as he comes from the same "playing hard but playing fair" school of cricket as the shamed Aussie trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

"I think Australia cried with Steve Smith last Thursday".

CA's code of conduct - under which the banned trio were found to have brought the game into disrepute - had left Warner with up until the day before Wednesday's potential hearing to confirm his position. The most expensive fine has been 100 per cent of a match fee.

"As I stated yesterday, the players have our support whatever they decide", its president Greg Dyer said in an ACA tweet yesterday.

"These proposed penalties are disproportionate relative to precedent", he told a press conference.

"We ask that consideration be given to recalibrating the proposed sanctions, to consider options such as suspending or reducing part of the sanction", he said.

ACA believes softening the players' domestic ban would be a step in the right direction and a necessary one too to ensure their rehabilitation is not compromised.

But in a stunning twist to the seemingly never ending ball-tampering scandal, reports have emerged that the "doomed" South African tour may be the last of its kind.

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