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Smith, Warner step down as Paine named interim captain

  • Published at 10:37 am March 25th, 2018
  • Last updated at 11:37 am March 25th, 2018
Smith, Warner step down as Paine named interim captain
Steve Smith stepped down as Australia captain Sunday and his deputy David Warner also relinquished the vice-captaincy amid stunning ball-tampering revelations that have plunged the Test team into crisis. Cricket Australia said the pair had agreed to give up their leadership roles following "discussion" with the governing body, with wicket-keeper Tim Paine to take the rein for the remainder of the third and penultimate Test against South Africa in Cape Town. "This Test match needs to proceed, and in the interim we will continue to investigate this matter with the urgency that it demands," CA CEO James Sutherland said in a statement. "As I said earlier, CA and Australian cricket fans expect certain standards of conduct from cricketers representing our country, and on this occasion these standards have not been met.

Also read: Smith, Bancroft admit ball-tampering

"All Australians, like us, want answers and we will keep you updated on our findings, as a matter of priority." Smith did not join his team mates as they warmed up at Newlands before the fourth day's play got underway at the venue at the foot of the Table Mountain. The Australians, including Smith and Warner, then walked out to a muted response from the sparse crowd. The four-match series is tied at 1-1 with the host in a strong position in the ongoing match. Smith and Warner's demotion came hours after Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull heaped pressure on CA to act swiftly and decisively. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yChk9LEclw Smith had admitted Saturday that he was "embarrassed" by the scandal but had no intention of stepping down as skipper. Smith, who has led the team since 2015 and is their best batsman, confessed to reporters that the ball-tampering had been orchestrated by himself and senior players. Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft, the most junior member in the side at 25, was tasked with implementing the plan and was duly caught on camera using the tape. He has been charged by the International Cricket Council, which could lead to a one-match ban and a 100% fine of his match fee. The cost to Australia's reputation is immeasurably higher, however, with former players across the globe branding the team cheats and fans castigating the players on social media. Video: Youtube
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