COMMENTATOR: The Australians are really working on the ball.
It's a very sad day for Australian cricket.
MATT: The news rocked, not just the cricketing world,
but what felt like all of Australia.
From you guys...
I feel like we can't really trust the Australian team
as much as we did before.
It's ruined the integrity of the sport.
..to former players...
It's blatant cheating, it's disgraceful.
..even the Prime Minister.
This is a shocking disappointment.
And it's all over this - a cricket ball.
In Australia's third test match against South Africa,
Cameron Bancroft was caught tampering with the ball.
He got yellow sandpaper, and used it to scuff one side.
He was doing it for a very deliberate reason -
to create swing.
See, by keeping one side of the ball shiny and smooth,
and letting the other side rough up,
the ball, when bowled in the right way,
can move through the air towards the rough side.
That's because air flows differently over each side of the ball,
making it really difficult for batsmen to play.
But on this particular occasion,
the sandpaper was used to try to create reverse swing
which can be even harder to play.
It occurs after the ball gets really rough
and, strangely, it starts moving through the air
the opposite way you'd expect - towards the shiny side.
That's why reverse swing can be a game changer.
COMMENTATOR 2: Caught! That's a very good catch.
It's not against the rules to try to make the ball swing.
You've probably seen players rub one side of the ball on their pants,
or rub saliva on the shiny side.
All of that stuff is entirely legal under the rules of the game.
But that extra step of damaging the ball isn't allowed,
that's called tampering.
Players have done it before in different ways
but it's always controversial and they've been punished for it.
But many people are upset
because it was something they'd planned ahead of time.
This issue goes beyond
the technical nature of offences.
It's about the integrity and reputation
of Australian cricket and Australian sport.
Because of this, Steve Smith and David Warner
will both be banned from the game for 12 months.
Cameron Bancroft will be out for 9 months.
And Coach Darren Lehmann has decided to step down from the job.
Back in Australia, Steve Smith made an emotional apology.
I made a serious error of judgement
and I now understand the consequences.
It was a failure of leadership...
..of my leadership.
I'll do everything I can to make up for my mistake...
..and the damage it's caused.
The repercussions are huge for the players
and for Australian cricket as a whole.
But what do you think about it?
I think that the Australian cricket team made the wrong decision
and that maybe we should have given them a longer ban.
And they should be fined a lot of money.
It's kind of embarrassing, like, if we go overseas
they'll, kind of, like, they'll know we're Australians
they'll know... They'll, like, look down at us.
Yeah, I agree too, like,
'cause I think everyone around the world thinks
that we're cheaters because the Australian team cheated.
Our team's really good,
we don't need to do that.
And if I felt
that someone did that on my team,
I couldn't trust them on the field.