In yet another twist to the ball-tampering saga that has consumed the nation, Cricket Australia‘s ongoing investigation into the events in Cape Town last weekend has revealed that former captain Steve Smith did not know of key elements of the plan until it was in motion.
Per reports in Fairfax, Cricket Australia investigators now believe that Smith was aware of a plan, but did not know how it would be carried out until he saw Cameron Bancroft flash up on the big screen, rubbing yellow tape on the ball then attempting to conceal it in his pants.
It is also understood that Smith had “expressed dislike” about the plan to tamper with a ball but “did not attempt to stop it.”
At a press conference in Sydney, Smith took “full responsibility” for the events in Cape Town, saying that there was a “failure of leadership” in his behalf and promising to “do everything I can to make up for my mistake and the damage it’s caused.”
He also apologised to his father, saying:
“To see the way my old man’s been … it hurts. I just want to say I’m sorry for the pain that I’ve brought to Australia and the fans and the public, it’s devastating and I’m truly sorry.”
Steve Smith has been stripped of his captaincy and suspended from playing cricket for twelve months; Cameron Bancroft has copped a nine-month suspension while former vice-captain David Warner has also been suspended for twelve.
Warner gave a press conference yesterday, in which he apologised profusely to fellow player and fans, although he has since been criticised for giving carefully-scripted statements and refusing to give meaningful answers to reporters’ questions.
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Image: AAP / Steve Christo