File photo of Steve Smith and David Warner (L). Photograph:( Reuters )
Australian cricket players Steve Smith and David Warner could be staring at a possible life ban, news reports said Monday.
The duo had stepped down as captain and vice-captain of the Australian team on Sunday, after a stunning ball-tampering admission by Smith.
The ICC has slapped the duo with a one-match ban and fined Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft — who did the actual tampering, against South Africa — 75% of his match fee.
The bans and the fine have been called "very lenient" by a number of people:
wow @ICC wow. Great treatment nd FairPlay. No ban for Bancroft with all the evidences whereas 6 of us were banned for excessive appealing in South Africa 2001 without any evidence and Remember Sydney 2008? Not found guilty and banned for 3 matches.different people different rules— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) 25 March 2018
But there has been tremendous fallout back home in Australia. With Prime Minister Malcolm Turbull wondering how the team could have cheated — "It beggars belief," he said — and the media pillorying the team's "rotten" culture under its current leadership.
And the news reports Monday quoted anonymous sources in Cricket Australia, which is investigating the incident, as saying the team's "leadership group" could be slapped with exemplary punishment, which could be as severe as a life ban.