Smith admitted that the "leadership group knew about it", saying they had hatched the plan during the lunch break to "get an advantage". Former England captain Nasser Hussain did not mince his words, telling Sky Sports News: "This was a pre-meditated attempt by the Australian team to cheat." Australian great Shane Warne said whoever told Bancroft to cheat had to be identified.
WHAT THE ........ HAVE I JUST WOKEN UP TO. Please tell me this is a bad dream.— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) March 24, 2018
"I feel a bit for Bancroft because I don't think he's taken it upon himself to do something and put it in his pocket," said former leg-spinner Warne, who took 708 Test wickets. "Who's told him to do that? It's important to find out that. I think we've got to get to the bottom of why that has happened and what was it. "You've got to own up. You've been caught, you've got to own up and say what was it you were hiding. You can't have that in the game."
Very disappointed with the pictures I saw on our coverage here in Cape Town. If proven the alleged ball tampering is what we all think it is - then I hope Steve Smith (Captain) & Darren Lehmann (Coach) do the press conference to clean this mess up !— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) March 24, 2018
Smith insisted that coach Darren Lehmann wasn't involved, saying the players had decided to try and change the condition of the ball themselves. "The leadership group knew about it. We spoke about it at lunch. I'm not proud of what happened. It's not in the spirit of the game," admitted the world's No 1-ranked batsman. Former England skipper Michael Vaughan said all of the Australian team and coaches would forever be remembered as cheats.
What I find appalling in all this is the Youngster got given the Job .. Was it because someone in the team had been accused of using Hand tape for a similar affect !!!!!!! So they wanted someone else to take the mantle .... Disgraceful behaviour by senior pros ... #SAvAUSMarch 24, 2018
"Steve Smith, his Team & ALL the management will have to accept that whatever happens in their careers they will all be known for trying to CHEAT the game," Vaughan wrote on Twitter. Ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen was not convinced that Lehmann knew nothing about the incident. "My 2cents worth - This will be Lehmann's greatest Test as a coach, cos I will struggle to believe that this was all Bancroft's idea. #SandpaperGate," he tweeted.
I wonder what time the Aussies will make an official complaint for the Abuse they are getting for being CHEATS ......!!!!!!!!!— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 24, 2018
Injured South African fast bowler Dale Steyn agreed, replying to Pietersen: "Bud you know nothing in professional sport is done without the consent of your captain and coach...Tough times ahead." South Africa are in total control of the match, leading by 294 runs with five second-innings wickets remaining, in a gripping Test series which is level at 1-1. But the contest, which had its fair share of controversies over the first two matches, will end with the Australians' reputations shattered, no matter the final scoreline. Video: Youtube
My 2cents worth - This will be Darren Lehmann’s greatest test as a coach, cos I will struggle to believe that this was all Bancroft’s idea. #SandpaperGate.— Kevin Pietersen (@KP24) March 24, 2018