Steve Smith, David Warner to face one year ban, coach Lehmann to resign
Australian cricketer Steve Smith is in hot waters after being involved in a ball-tampering scandal during the Test match against South Africa. Recent media reports claim that Smith will be stripped off captaincy permanently. Both Smith and his deputy, David Warner, will be facing a one year ban from the game. Meanwhile, Aussie coach Darren Lehmann is all set to resign with immediate effect. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has suspended Smith for one Test and has forfeited his entire match fee.
According to reports, crisis talks are being held in South Africa to deal with the scandal. Smith, along with members of Australia’s ‘leadership group’ and teammate Cameron Bancroft, was involved in tampering the condition of the ball during the third Test against South Africa at Cape Town. According to Smith, Lehmann had no knowledge of the plot.
"We are aiming to be in a position to fully update the Australian public on the investigation and outcomes on Wednesday morning," said James Sutherland, chief of Cricket Australia, in an email to cricket fans.
Meanwhile, Smith has also stepped down as captain of the Rajasthan Royals for this year’s IPL, with India opener Ajinkya Rahane taking over. Smith was with the Royals in 2014 and 2015 and was the only player retained by the team for 2018. The player from Down Under had led the Rising Pune Supergiants to the IPL finals in 2017 (the Royals were banned for two years), where they were beaten by Mumbai Indians.