Thompson: Smith should be banned for life

Pakistan's Shihad Afridi

Even if he is cleared of any involvement in the affair, there is clearly a mood overseas in Australia that the standards of behaviour of the national team have dropped too far under Lehmann's leadership.

Lehmann is yet to make any public comment about the scandal since television cameras first caught opening batsman Bancroft attempting to scuff up the ball with concealed tape on Saturday night (AEDT).

Smith will not captain the side in the Fourth and final Test which starts on Friday, banned for one match by the International Cricket Council and fined his entire match fee after a personal intervention from chief executive Dave Richardson.

THE ball-tampering spotlight has turned to David Warner, with the team's vice-captain reportedly fingered as the ringleader behind the scandal which has rocked Australian sport.

Darren Lehmann's stint as Australia coach could also be coming to an end with reports saying that he is set to resign from his post.

Steve Smith, 28, is now expected to face a harsh sanction from Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering plan, which saw Bancroft use a strip of yellow sticky tape he'd covered with dirt granules to illegally scratch the rough side of the ball, thereby facilitating more swing for bowlers.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday he had spoken to Cricket Australia chairman David Peever and demanded swift action on the ball-tampering incident, which he described as a "shocking affront to Australia" and a "terrible disgrace". There are two issues that are primarily at play here.

After the match was over, Steve Smith admitted to the tampering. "He finds himself in charge of a very good cricket team but a team that are not especially popular, even back home in Australia", he wrote.

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CA also clarified that all of the Australia Test squad were now in South Africa to help with the investigation after there had been reports that Smith had flown home.

"I've been watching players get away with ball tampering for 50 years, so in my view what you are getting is a bit of a storm in a tea cup".

"I think we should hand the trophy to South Africa".

Cricket Australia ceo James Sutherland is due to arrive in South Africa Tuesday afternoon (AEDT), while high performance manager Pat Howard and head of integrity Iain Roy have already arrived to commence investigations.

On Sunday, the resignations of Smith and vice-captain David Warner were announced in a statement from Cricket Australia.

Smith today stood down as skipper of the Rajasthan Royals as the furore surrounding cricket's latest ball-tampering row deepens. Australians, more than anyone else, have been known to push the boundaries of acceptable behaviour on the cricket field.

In a front-page headline reflecting the mood of a nation, which feels betrayed, one Australian newspaper said: "Sack them all". "I just can't see it".

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