Australian Sutherland arrives in South Africa with axe poised

Tue, Mar 27, '18



JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Cricket Australia supremo James Sutherland arrived in South Africa on Tuesday to precipitate an expected dramatic shake up of the test team in the wake of the weekend's ball-tampering scandal and announce punishment for the protagonists.

Australia was plunged into turmoil after captain Steve Smith admitted on Saturday that senior players had conspired with opening batsman Cameron Bancroft to tamper with the ball during the third test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Sutherland, who already asked Smith and David Warner to step down as captain and vice captain respectively, is expected to come down hard on the team's senior figures after being given a report into the scandal.

The chief executive will hear the outcome of a probe into Saturday's incident from team performance head Pat Howard and integrity chief Iain Roy after the pair spent Monday in Cape Town interviewing the players.

Cricket Australia (CA) will announce the punishments on Tuesday at a news conference in Johannesburg, where the team will arrive earlier in the day to prepare for the fourth test.

CA is expected to announce additional sanction for captain Smith, who has already been suspended for the fourth test by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and is expected to head home to Australia in the next few days.