Steve Smith on Saturday said he won’t resign over the latest ball-tampering controversy, but he would have woken up on Sunday morning with calls for his head.
At the end of day three of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands, Smith along with Cameron Bancroft admitted to attempting to change the condition of the ball. This was after Bancroft was caught on camera shining the ball with a foreign object — later revealed to be tape — which he subsequently shoved down his trousers after being spotted by the umpires.
Smith then admitted that along with the team’s ‘leadership group’, they asked Bancroft to do what he did.
Former Australia Test cricketers Adam Gilchrist and Simon Katich said the incident called into question Smith’s integrity as a captain and both doubted if he should carry on as the team’s leader.
‘I’m not sure he [Smith] can remain captain,’ said former wicketkeeper Gilchrist.
‘I think it’s a pretty tough position to hold after you’ve admitted to what you’ve admitted to, [to be able to] carry on with any faith from anyone watching.
‘We’ll wait and see whether he’s told [to leave], or whether he stands aside.
‘Then that implicates the senior playing group — he spoke about the leadership group… it might implicate [David] Warner as vice-captain, I don’t know.
‘I don’t know all the details about this leadership group.’
Katich, who played 56 Tests for Australia between 2001 and 2010 said Smith couldn’t go on as captain of the team after Saturday’s admission.
‘They [Cricket Australia] have got no option but to sack Smith, Warner and [Darren] Lehmann,’ Katich said in a radio interview on Sunday morning.
‘This was premeditated, it was calculated at the [lunch] break — those guys are in charge of Cameron Bancroft behaving the way he did… he [Bancroft] will cop a fine and Test match suspension through the match referee because he executed it, but it’s a bigger problem than that.
‘He’s been instructed to do this, and anyone in cricket knows that the coach and the captain are in control of what happens in a team.’
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