We know how you feel and have heard your feedback loud and clear; we share your anger and disappointment, wrote James Sutherland.
Cricket Australia (CA) reacted quickly to the ball-tampering incident at the ongoing Cape Town Test between South Africa and Australia, confirming that Steve Smith and David Warner will stand down as captain and vice-captain of the team with immediate effect.
Soon after, James Sutherland, the CA Chief Executive Officer, apologised formally to the legions of Australian cricket fans in a statement, admitting that the episode had put the integrity of the players as well as officials under scrutiny.
“We are sorry. We are sorry that you had to wake up this morning to news from South Africa that our Australian Men's Cricket team and our Captain admitted to conduct that is outside both the Laws of our game and the Spirit of Cricket. This behaviour calls into question the integrity of the team and Cricket Australia,” he wrote.
Continuing, Sutherland wrote, “As I said at a media conference earlier today, Cricket Australia and Australian cricket fans expect high standards from cricketers representing our country, and on this occasion these standards have not been met.
“We know how you feel and have heard your feedback loud and clear. We share your anger and disappointment.”
CA had earlier announced that two of its senior functionaries, Iain Roy, the Head of Integrity, and Pat Howard, the High Performance Manager, would be travelling to South Africa to get a better idea of the issue, and Sutherland added in his missive: “All Australians, like us, want answers and we will keep you updated on our findings, as a matter of urgency.”
In a development related to Smith’s immediate future, though not in international cricket, Rajasthan Royals, the team Indian Premier League team he is a part of, have said that they would be discussing the matter with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) before taking a decision.
Ranjit Barthakur, the Chairman and Director of Rajasthan Royals, said, “We have been made aware of the controversy of ball tampering in the ongoing Australia-South Africa series and await further instructions from BCCI before we make any announcement.
“We at Rajasthan Royals will not tolerate any actions that are unfair by definition and bring disrepute to the game of cricket. Our zero-tolerance policy applies to everyone in our team.”
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