Smith to stay in South Africa for investigation

Steve Smith leaves his Cape Town hotel the morning after the ball-tampering scandal broke. Photo: Chris Barrett. Courtesy: Brisbane Times

Steve Smith will remain in South Africa for grilling over his involvement in the ball tampering affair despite being suspended for the final Test of the series.

A day after the enormous scandal erupted in Cape Town, Australia sunk to a 322-run loss in the third Test; the Proteas securing a 2-1 series lead with a day to spare. 

Having admitted to hatching the plot for Cameron Bancroft to try to alter the state of the ball on day three,  Smith, already stood down as captain by Cricket Australia, was suspended by the ICC for fourth Test and fined 100 per cent of his match fee. Bancroft avoided suspension but was fined 75 per cent of his fee.

However despite his series being over, CA released a statement on Monday confirming Smith would stay in South Africa to play his part in the inquiry being led by CA integrity chief Iain Roy and high performance head Pat Howard.

“Cricket Australia can confirm that all members of the touring Test squad currently remain in South Africa,” CA said. 

“Multiple media reports that suggest players have departed South Africa for home ports are inaccurate.

“At this stage, players will remain in South Africa to assist CA with inquiries. Any outcomes from that process will be communicated in due course.” 

Smith, vice-captain David Warner, who has also been stood down, and possibly others face  significant penalties from CA dpending on the outcome of the integrity investigation.

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine has taken over as captain.