International cricket stars took a dim view of ICC's punishment for Steve Smith and blasted the world cricket body for being "weak" and "spineless"
Steve Smith is in the eye of the storm after admitting that the ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa had been orchestrated by himself and senior players. On Sunday, Smith and his deputy David Warner stood down from their respective positions in the Australian team. Later in the day, the International Cricket Council (ICC) handed a one-match suspension to Smith and fined 100 percent of his match fee. However, international stars took a dim view of ICC's punishment and blasted the world cricket body for being "weak" and "spineless".
The likes of Kevin Pietersen, Michael Vaughan and Harbhajan Singh all took to Twitter and slammed ICC for being lenient in their judgement for Smith.
Smith will miss the fourth and final Test in Johannesburg from Friday due to his ban.
However, Bancroft, the 25-year-old opening batsman, escaped an ICC suspension. He was instead fined 75 percent of his fee, warned, and hit by three demerit points.
"The decision made by the leadership group of the Australian team to act in this way is clearly contrary to the spirit of the game," said ICC chief executive David Richardson.
Bancroft admitted that he breached Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to "changing the condition of the ball in breach of clause 41.3." and accepted the sanction proposed by Andy Pycroft of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, and as such there was no need for a formal hearing.
The incident that led to the charges being laid took place during South Africa's innings on Saturday afternoon when Bancroft was seen on television holding a foreign object while rubbing the ball, before hiding the object in his pocket, then inside his trousers.