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AUSTRALIA CAPTAIN SMITH, VICE-CAPTAIN WARNER STEP DOWN FOR 3RD TEST
8:53:16 pm 25-March-2018
Cape Town, 25th March (IANS): Australia's Steven Smith and David Warner on Sunday stepped down as captain and vice-captain respectively for the remainder of the ongoing third Test against South Africa in the wake of the ball-tampering controversy.

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine will act as captain at Newlands, with both Smith and Warner taking the field on Sunday, according to Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland.

The decision comes on the back of the ongoing ball-tampering issue, with Cameron Bancroft caught on cameras using what is believed to be a tape before attempting to hide the object on the third day of the Cape Town Test on Saturday.

Smith and Bancroft admitted to the offence after play on the day, and Bancroft was charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for altering the conditions of the ball.

A contrite Smith and Bancroft later addressed a press conference, admitting to ball-tampering and apologised for their actions.

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.

"As I said earlier today, Cricket Australia and Australian cricket fans expect certain standards of conduct from cricketers representing our country, and on this occasion these standards have not been met."

CA chairman David Peever said: "The Board fully supports the process for an immediate investigation into what occurred in Cape Town.

"We regard this as a matter of the utmost seriousness and urgency. We will ensure we have all information available to make the right decisions for Australian Cricket."

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