Smith to stay captain while CA probes ball-tamper scandal


Melbourne (AFP)

Cricket Australia said Sunday that Steve Smith will remain captain while they investigate the ball-tampering scandal during the third Test against South Africa which has plunged the game into crisis.

There have been calls for Smith to step down or be sacked over the premeditated plan hatched during the lunch break on Saturday's third day in Newlands, after the captain admitted being the mastermind.

Chief executive James Sutherland said Sunday Cricket Australia were "extremely disappointed and shocked", but added that the governing body wanted to get a clearer picture of the facts before making any decisions.

"I understand that that is not necessarily the fullness of response that everyone is looking for right now. But you will appreciate that there's an element of process that needs to be undertaken here," Sutherland told reporters in Melbourne.

"We will work very hard over the next couple of days to get to the bottom of it -- to understand the big picture, to understand the detail and to be making further comment on that in due course."

CA's head of integrity and head of team performance were flying to South Africa to conduct the investigation.

Television footage showed Smith's teammate Cameron Bancroft, 25, taking a yellow object out of his pocket while fielding in the post-lunch session and appearing to rub it on the ball.

He was later charged with attempting to change the condition of the ball.

Sutherland said he had not spoken to Smith but stressed repeatedly he was unhappy about the incident.

"I have very strong and clear views about the responsibility of the Australian cricket team to play the game in the right spirit," he added.

"And I don't think anyone will be under any illusions as to what I think about this."

Smith, 28, has said he would not quit, adding: "I still think I'm the right person for the job."