Smith, Warner banned for a year

Smith, Warner banned for a year

Duo barred from IPL; to miss India series later this year

Disgraced Australia skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were on Wednesday banned from top-level cricket for a year over a cheating scandal that has rocked the sport and dragged their side's reputation through the mud.

Both players have also been ejected from this year's Indian Premier League, robbing them of lucrative deals. Smith was the skipper of Rajasthan Royals before being replaced by Ajinkya Rahane in the immediate aftermath of the scandal. Sunrisers Hyderabad will now have to hunt for a new captain with Warner being banned.

The ban also rules out both players from the high-profile end of the year Test series against India.

A statement from Cricket Australia (CA) said Smith and Warner had been suspended from "all international and domestic cricket" while opening batsman Cameron Bancroft has been banned for nine months over the ball-tampering incident during the third Test in South Africa.

A Cricket Australia spokesman said the players could still play at club level in Australia and in other countries.

Smith was charged with knowledge of a potential plan "to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball" but Warner was charged with developing the plan and instructing Bancroft to carry it out using sandpaper.

The CA statement said Smith and Bancroft would not be considered for team leadership positions until a minimum of 12 months after the end of their suspensions, but Warner will be barred from such positions in the future.

Cricket Australia said Bancroft had attempted to "artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper". The aim would have been to generate more swing for Australia's bowlers.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: "I am satisfied that the sanctions in this case properly reflect a balance between the need to protect the integrity and reputation of the game and the need to maintain the possibility of redemption for the individuals involved..."

The BCCI said its top officials had decided "to ban Mr Smith and Mr Warner with immediate effect from participation in IPL 2018".

"The BCCI hopes that the cricketers participating in the IPL hold the highest regard for the spirit of cricket and code of conduct for players and match officials," BCCI added in a statement.

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine will take over the Australian captaincy for the fourth and final Test starting in Johannesburg on Friday, with hosts South Africa leading a bad-tempered series 2-1 as Matt Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns fly to South Africa to replace the exiled trio.

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