‘Do you want a cheat as captain?’ CA respond
STEVE Smith will walk on to the field at Cape Town on Sunday night (AEST) as Australian captain after Cricket Australia refused to sanction the skipper despite confessing to ball tampering.
CA boss James Sutherland called it a "sad day" for Australian cricket but said the governing body would take no action against Smith or coach Darren Lehmann until a full investigation was complete.
Head of integrity Iain Roy and high performance manager Pat Howard are on their way to South Africa and Sutherland said the matter would be addressed with "urgency".
After day three of the third Test Smith admitted to concocting a plan in which Cameron Bancroft would use sticky tape to pick up debris around the pitch and use it to alter the condition of the ball.
Despite that admission from the captain, and damning video evidence, Sutherland, who has not taken the time to talk to the captain since the revelations, refused to bow to the opinion of the nation and suspend or sack Smith.
"Steve Smith is currently the captain of the Australian team. We're working through a process, as I just said, and once we've got a clearer picture of the facts and understand things," Sutherland said on Sunday.
"There is an element of process that needs to be gone through, it is being dealt with as a matter of urgency and seriousness. It will be dealt with properly, we will work hard in the coming days to understand this and to make further comment in due course.
"I wanted to repeat: We are extremely disappointed and shocked, two we are dealing with this issue with the utmost urgency and seriousness."
"Cricket fans want to be proud of their team and I think this morning they have every reason to wake up and not be proud, it's a very sad day.
"Cricket it to be played in the laws and the spirit of the game and activities on the field yesterday are neither within the laws of the spirit of the game."
Meanwhile, a disgusted Simon Katich believes Cricket Australia has "no option" but to sack Smith, vice-captain David Warner and coach Darren Lehmann for allowing ball-tampering to occur.
Former Test batsman Katich said he was "sick to his stomach" when he woke up to the news from South Africa.
Speaking before Sutherland's press conference, Katich - who played 56 Tests for Australia between 2001 and 2010 - said they had to act faster.
"They've got no option but to stand down and then sack Smith, Warner and Lehmann," Katich said.
"They've got no option because this was premeditated and calculated at the break and those guys are in charge of Cameron Bancroft behaving the way he did.
"It's a bigger problem than that, he's been instructed to do this and anyone in cricket knows the captain and coach are in control of what happens in the team.
"I love Steve Smith, but unfortunately he's made a serious error and I think it's going to cost him the captaincy of Australia.
"If Criket Australia come out of this and condone sledging, they condone blatant cheating, then the message they send to the thousands of kids that they want to aspire to wear the baggy green is a far worse message than a few guys losing their jobs."
Smith denied Lehmann had any role to play in the incident but Katich doubted that was true.
"The footage I've seen with Darren Lehmann on the walkie-talkie to Peter Handscomb down on the boundary line trying to get a warning out to Cameron Bancroft that they were all over him, that to me indicates that he was clearly aware of what was going on," Katich said.