Michael Clarke, Kevin Pietersen and other stars have their say on Australia ball-tampering admission

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Australia captain Steve Smith and team-mate Cameron Bancroft sensationally admitted to ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa on Saturday.

Bancroft was caught on television cameras appearing to rub a yellow object on the ball, and later said: “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I want to be here (in the press conference) because I want to be accountable for my actions.”

Smith added: “The leadership group knew about it. Obviously today was a big mistake on my behalf and the leadership group’s behalf as well, but I take responsibility. I need to take control of the ship. This is something I’m not proud of.”

Television footage showed Bancroft, 25, take an object out of his pocket while fielding in the post-lunch session on the third day of the Test at Newlands.

He was spoken to by umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth during the 43rd over of South Africa’s second innings after appearing to have the object in his hand after fielding the ball at cover.

While the umpires were conferring, Bancroft then appeared to place a small yellow object in his underpants.

When the umpires went across to talk to him he reached into a pocket and showed them what seemed to be a different object — a soft pouch for sunglasses. The umpires took no action and did not change the ball.

Needless to say, the incident rocked the cricketing world to its core. Here are the reactions from a stunned cricketing world.

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Sachin Tendulkar, Faf du Plessis and other players accused of ball-tampering in Test cricket

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Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft and captain Steve Smith admitted to ball-tampering against South Africa during the third Test on Saturday, with the issue of players cheating by changing the condition of the ball rearing its ugly head again.

Here we look at five previous ball-tampering scandals in Test cricket:

Faf du Plessis, Australia v South Africa, 2016

Australia’s current opponents South Africa have had players found guilty of similar incidents three times in the last five years, including captain Faf du Plessis. The batsman was caught on camera sucking on a sweet during the second Test in Hobart, before using his saliva to shine the ball. Despite no accusations from Australia, the ICC found Du Plessis guilty and fined him 100 percent of his match fee. He avoided a ban and responded with a hundred in the following match.

Faf du Plessis, Pakistan v South Africa, 2013

Du Plessis was also charged for using a foreign object to change the condition of the ball in a 2013 clash against Pakistan in Dubai. He appeared to rub the ball against the zip on his trouser pocket, and was fined 50 percent of his match fee. South Africa again landed in hot water a year later when bowler Vernon Philander was found guilty of “scratching the ball with his fingers and thumb”.

England v Pakistan, 2006

Pakistan were penalised five runs at The Oval.

Pakistan were penalised five runs at The Oval.

Maybe the most infamous ball-tampering controversy in recent memory ended with Pakistan forfeiting their Test against England at The Oval 12 years ago. Umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove gave England five penalty runs after ruling that Pakistan had tampered with the ball, leaving the tourists incensed. Inzamam ul-Haq’s side refused to take the field after the tea break in protest, and the umpires awarded the match to England, the first forfeiture in Test history. Pakistan were later cleared of ball-tampering by the ICC, with the governing body also controversially changing the result of the match to a draw.

Sachin Tendulkar, South Africa v India, 2001

Indian great Sachin Tendulkar was handed a one-match ban by match referee Mike Denness after a game against South Africa in Port Elizabeth. Television footage appeared to show Tendulkar scuffing the seam of the ball, but he was actually only removing a piece of grass. There was serious backlash from Indian fans against Denness, with allegations of racism. The ICC eventually cleared Tendulkar of any wrongdoing, but the following third Test had its Test status revoked as the Indian cricket board refused to accept Denness as the match referee.

Mike Atherton, England v South Africa, 1994

Then-England captain Mike Atherton was accused of ball-tampering for taking a substance from his pocket and rubbing it on the ball. He denied the allegations, saying he used some dirt from his pocket to dry his hands. He was not charged with ball-tampering and instead fined £2,000 for failing to disclose the dirt to the match referee. Despite calls for the opening batsman to resign, Atherton stayed on as England skipper full-time until 1998.

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Australia captain Steve Smith takes responsibility as Cameron Bancroft admits to ball-tampering

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Bancroft is confronted by umpires in Cape Town.

Australia’s Cameron Bancroft and captain Steve Smith admitted to ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa on Saturday, sending shockwaves through cricket.

Bancroft was caught on television cameras appearing to rub a yellow object on the ball, and later said: “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I want to be here (in the press conference) because I want to be accountable for my actions.”

Smith added: “The leadership group knew about it.”

Television footage showed Bancroft, 25, take on object out of his pocket while fielding in the post-lunch session on the third day of the Test at Newlands.

He was spoken to by umpires Nigel Llong and Richard Illingworth during the 43rd over of South Africa’s second innings after appearing to have the object in his hand after fielding the ball at cover.

While the umpires were conferring, Bancroft then appeared to place a small yellow object in his underpants.

When the umpires went across to talk to him he reached into a pocket and showed them what seemed to be a different object — a soft pouch for sunglasses.

The umpires took no action and did not change the ball.

There were boos from a capacity crowd at Newlands when the incident was shown on the big screen at the ground.

Both Bancroft and Smith, who took over the Australian captaincy in 2015, appeared before the media after the match and admitted that they had attempted to change the condition of the ball.

“We had a discussion during the break. On myself I saw an opportunity to use some yellow tape and the granules from the rough patches of the wicket to change the condition of the ball,” said opening batsman Bancroft who is playing in his eighth Test.

“It didn’t work, the umpires didn’t change the ball. We have this yellow tape in our kit. The actual sticky stuff itself is very sticky so I felt it could be used to collect some stuff from the side of the pitch.”

Smith now faces calls for his resignation after admitting that Bancroft did not act alone.

“The leadership group knew about it. We spoke about it at lunch. I’m not proud of what happened. It’s not in the spirit of the game,” said the skipper.

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