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Steve Smith, David Warner may get life ban over ball-tampering

It appears like trouble for Steve Smith is not ending with one-match suspension imposed by the ICC. According to a cricket website, the Australia captain and his deputy David Warner might be facing more punishment and could be banned for life for cheating under Cricket Australia’s code of behaviour.

Reportedly, Cricket Australia’s Iain Roy and team performance manager Pat Howard are in South Africa to investigate the whole ball tampering scandal. And both Cricket Australia and Australia Sports Commission may take a much stronger action.

ESPNCRINCINFO reported that the investigation will feature interviews of Smith, Warner, Cameron Bancroft and coach Darren Lehmann and then it will be decided who all will be charged under the Code Of Behaviour. There will be a hearing held under an independent commissioner, who will decide on the issue and also the penalties if found guilty.

The website further added that a charge of conduct contrary to the spirit of the game includes the clause “any conduct that is considered ‘unfair play’ under Rule 42 of the Laws of Cricket or against the spirit in which the game of cricket should be played”.

It said that the maximum penalty that a code of conduct commissioner can impose is a life ban from he sport. However, it will depend on factors such as “the seriousness of the breach” and “and the harm caused by the breach to the interests of cricket”.

Earlier Smith was handed a one-match suspension and fined 100% of his match fee after he owned up to a ball-tampering conspiracy in South Africa on the third day of the third Test.

The controversy has spilled over in India as Smith is also the captain of Indian Premier League franchises Rajasthan Royals and his Warner leads the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The scandal gave way to speculations that the Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad could sack Smith and David as their respective captains.

When asked IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said, “The BCCI and Rajasthan Royals will like to wait. As of now, no decision will be taken either by the board or the franchise. Smith is an important player for Royals and is their skipper. It’s only fair that they wait.” The administrator, though, added this was a “matter of serious concern for all of us”.

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