Steve Smith and David Warner have stood down as Australia’s captain and vice-captain for the remainder of the third Test against South Africa.
Smith admitted that he arranged a ball-tampering incident involving Cameron Bancroft.
Caught on camera, Bancroft used an object to try to alter the condition of the ball. Smith has been banned for one Test match for the ball tampering incident. Cricket Australia are still investigating the incident, with Smith potentially losing his job as captain. Darren Lehmann and David Warner’s positions are also under threat.
Ahead of the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL), which starts in April, Rajasthan Royals have confirmed that Smith will no longer captain the side, with Ajinkya Rahane replacing the Australian.
Head of Cricket Zubin Bharucha said: ‘The incident in Cape Town has certainly disturbed the cricket world. We have been in constant touch with the BCCI and taken their counsel. Furthermore, we have been in regular contact with Steve.
Ahead of the fourth day’s play in Cape Town, Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland said: ‘Following discussions with Steve Smith and David Warner they have agreed to stand down as Captain and Vice-Captain respectively for the remainder of this Test match.
‘This Test match needs to proceed, and in the interim we will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine will act as Australia captain for the remainder of the third Test against South Africa.
The decision to take the captaincy off Smith and Warner comes after an Australian government body urged Cricket Australia to relieve Smith off his duties.
The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) said: ‘Smith should be stood down immediately, along with any other members of the team leadership group or coaching staff who had prior awareness of, or involvement in, the plan’.