Australia admits ball tampering in stunning confession

Australia's Test cricket team has been caught attempting to gain an unfair advantage in the Third Test against South Africa, with Cameron Bancroft admitting to trying to tamper with the ball after it was discussed as "a way to get an advantage" among the team's leadership group.

Television footage on the big screen at the ground showed Bancroft trying to hide a yellow piece of tape used to collect granules of sand from the pitch inside his trousers.

The Umpires shall use their judgment to apply the principle that actions taken to maintain or enhance the condition of the ball, provided no artificial substances are used, shall be permitted.

Captain Steve Smith said he and other senior players came up with the idea to try and cheat and change the condition of the ball.

"I am not proud of what has happened". It was purely the leadership group who came up with this.

"We're in the middle of such a great series and for something like this to overshadow the great cricket that's been played and not have a single cricket question in here ... that's not what I'm about and not what the team is about", Smith said. "(It was) a poor choice and we're deeply regretful for our actions". "Its not on and it won't happen again, I can promise you", he added.

Australia trails South Africa by 294 runs. With the help of AB de Villiers 51 (103) and Aiden Markram's 84 (145), South Africa are in a comfortable position to win the third Test against the Aussies who are certain to face ICC's ire after ball tampering confessions. It didn't work and the umpires didn't change the ball.

Smith said he would not resign as Australia captain. "Doesn't look good", Smith said as quoted by Sport24.

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 guess once I was sighted on the (TV) screens, that resulted in me shoving it down my pants", Bancroft said.

"I am embarrassed. I know the boys in the shed are embarrassed as well".

It brought back memories of 2016, when current South African captain Faf du Plessis was slapped with three demerit points during the "mint-gate" saga in 2016, when he was found guilty of ball tampering.

Now, Bancroft has admitted that he was tampering with the condition of the ball in a press conference following the third days play.

Sky Sports cricket pundit and former England skipper Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports News: "What struck me was the pre-meditated nature of what was going on". Michael Holding and Shane Warne too think that Bancroft have violated the spirit of the game.

There isn't exactly a good time for such an incident to unfold but it could hardly have been timed more poorly for Smith's side and Cricket Australia.

'You've got to own up and say what was it that you were hiding, ' he said.


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