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Steve Smith to remain Australia captain during ball-tampering investigation

Australia's captain Steve Smith speaking during a press conference in Cape Town, on March 24, 2018
Australia's captain Steve Smith speaking during a press conference in Cape Town, on March 24, 2018 STR / AFP TV / AFP

Cricket Australia have confirmed that Steve Smith will keep the Australian cricket captaincy whilst an investigation takes place into ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa.

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There have been calls for Smith to step down or be sacked over the premeditated plan to alter the ball, which Smith admitted to being the mastermind of during day three's lunch break.

James Sutherland, Chief Executive of Cricket Australia, said the governing body want to establish more facts before taking any disciplinary action.

"I understand that this is not necessarily the fullness of response that everyone is looking for right now. But you will appreciate that there is an element of process that needs to be undertaken here.

"We will work very hard over the next couple of days to get to the bottom of it - to understand the big picture, to understand the detail.

"We will then be making further comment on that in due course."

Prime Minister shocked

Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has commented on the incident, claiming it "beggars belief" that role models such as Smith were "engaged in cheating like this".

Smith's predecessor Michael Clarke, meanwhile, said he was feeling "pretty emotional" after the revelations.

"I cannot believe if the leadership group has made a decision to do this, they have gone and got the young kid (Cameron Bancroft), who is playing his eighth test match to do that."

Clarke said he felt sorry for Smith, but added that the tampering was "blatant cheating" and "disgraceful".

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