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Smith will not stand down as Australia captain, despite role in Bancroft ball-tampering plot

Omnisport
NEWS
News
12.51K   //    24 Mar 2018, 23:00 IST

smith - CROPPED
Australia captain Steve Smith.

Australia captain Steve Smith is determined to continue as skipper despite admitting his role in the ball-tampering controversy that overshadowed day three of the third Test against South Africa.

Cameron Bancroft has been charged with "attempting to change the condition of the ball" after being seen to rub it with a piece of tape that was rough with dirt from the Newlands pitch.

Speaking after the close of play, Smith revealed the team's leadership group he helms had been behind the plot.

However, despite confessing his regret, he dismissed suggestions that he could consider quitting as captain in the wake of the controversial incident.

"No I won't be considering stepping down as captain, I still think I'm the right person for the job," he explained.

Australia team post play press conference featuring Steve Smith & Cameron Bancroft. https://t.co/dh5UYfPz31
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) March 24, 2018

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Expanding on the details of what occurred, Smith continued: "We spoke about it and thought it was a possible way to get an advantage and obviously it didn't work. The umpires didn't see it change the way the ball was behaving or how it looked.

"It was a poor choice, we deeply regret our actions.

"The coaches weren't involved, it was purely the players and the leadership group that came up with this and, as I said, it's not on and it won't happen again.

"We saw this game as an important game - not that other games aren't - we've seen the ball reversing quite a lot this series and our ball didn't look like it was going to.

"That was a mistake on our part, such poor actions, and it won't happen again under my leadership I can promise you.

"This is certainly something I'm not proud of and hopefully something I'll learn from and come back stronger from. I'm embarrassed to be sitting here and talking about this.

"We're in the middle of a great series and for something like this to overshadow that and not have a single cricket question in here is not what I'm about or what the team is about.

"It's a big error in judgement but we'll learn from it and move past it."

Smith insisted he would have felt equally as remorseful had Bancroft not been caught in the act.

"Deep down yeah I would," he added. "It's not what we're about, it's a poor reflection on everyone in that dressing room, particularly the leadership group.

"So absolutely, if we weren't caught I'd still feel incredibly bad about it."

But he rejected the possibility that the tactic had been used by Australia previously.

"You can ask questions as much as you like, this is the first time it's happened, I've made it clear," he stressed.

"It's not what the Australia cricket team is about and being the leader of the team I'm incredibly sorry for trying to bring the game into disrepute like we did today."

Bad light brought a premature end to the action on Saturday, with South Africa closing 294 runs ahead on 238-5 in their second innings.

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