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Fourth Test South Africa v Australia goes ahead - What next for Cricket Australia?

James Sutherland - CEO Cricket Australia at Press Conference

With the Fourth Test underway, Australia will have to work hard to come back, and level the series against South Africa. The ball tampering scandal has certainly taken over the headlines and over shadowed an emphatic win by South Africa in the 3rd Test Match. With everything that went on, it is difficult to see anything other than South Africa winning the match and with it, winning the Series.

Comments on the Scandal

On the recent ball tampering events in Cape Town, ICC CEO David Richardson stated: “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, risks causing significant damage to the integrity of the match, the players and the sport itself and is therefore ‘serious’ in nature. As captain, Steve Smith must take full responsibility for the actions of his players and it is appropriate that he be suspended.”

“The game needs to have a hard look at itself. In recent weeks we have seen incidents of ugly sledging, send-offs, dissent against umpires’ decisions, a walk-off, ball tampering and some ordinary off-field behaviour.

“The ICC needs to do more to prevent poor behaviour and better police the spirit of the game, defining more clearly what is expected of players and enforcing the regulations in a consistent fashion. In addition and most importantly Member countries need to show more accountability for their teams’ conduct. Winning is important but not at the expense of the spirit of the game which is intrinsic and precious to the sport of cricket. We have to raise the bar across all areas.”

There was no suggestion that there were any betting irregularities involved around this match. All legal cricket betting sites for Australia have been watching the series with interest, and will be looking forward to resuming activity for the Fourth Test at the weekend.

There has been a lot of media noise and speculations, as the entire cricket world is fired up about the match events. We know that Steve Smith and David Warner are banned for a year, but there might be further consequences. Cameron Bancroft on the other side, got a 9-month suspension for his part in the cheating scandal.

The players responsible for the ball tampering officially apologized, but it is still unclear what will happen next with their careers. The now, former Australia captain Steve Smith broke down in tears during the interview, as he stated how sorry he was for all the pain he’s brought to Australia. Smith added: "I am deeply sorry, I love the game of cricket, I love kids wanting to play the great game of cricket that I love”.

Teams for the Fourth Test Match

There are many people in Australia and around the world who think that the Australian team should have either gone home or sent more replacement players and be rebuild from scratch.

For the good of the game, the match is being played. Cricket Australia has taken action, however, a full disclosure statement on what exactly happened, who was involved and who knew about it, will come out, that is for sure. Once that’s cleared up, a new line up from the national player’s pool can be announced forfuture players' squads for Australia.

Playing XIs for the Fourth Test

South Africa - D Elgar, A Markram, H Amla, AB de Villiers, F du Plessis, T Bavuma, Q de Kock(Wkt), V Philander, K Rabada, K Maharaj, M Morkel

Australia - M Renshaw, J Burns, U Khawaja, P Handscomb, S Marsh, M Marsh, T Paine(Wkt), P Cummins, C Sayers, N Lyon, J Hazlewood

Official Cricket Australia Website