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Australia captain Smith, vice-captain Warner step down

David Warner and Steve Smith

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Australia cricket captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have stepped down from their roles for the remainder of the third test against South Africa following the team’s confession to ball tampering.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland says Smith and Warner have “agreed” to stand down after discussions with Australia’s cricket body.

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine was appointed temporary captain for the remainder of the test against South Africa in Cape Town.

Smith and Warner still took to the field on the fourth morning on Sunday and will play the rest of the test. South Africa leads by more than 300 runs and looks set for a convincing win to move ahead 2-1 in the series

The Australian team’s reputation is in tatters after Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft confessed to cheating in an attempt to get their team back into the match.

Smith said a group of senior players — likely including Warner — hatched the plan to tamper with the ball and young player Bancroft was chosen to carry it out. They were caught and had to come clean.
Cricket Australia CEO Sutherland says: “Cricket Australia and Australian cricket fans expect certain standards of conduct from cricketers representing our country, and on this occasion these standards have not been met.”

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