‘We are all Australians and it is our shame’
WE'VE heard from the players. We've heard from the expert and cricketing legends.
Now it's time to hear from you, the Australian public.
Australian cricket captain Steve Smith said overnight he would not stand down from his position after admitting he and the team's leadership group conspired to have Cameron Bancroft tamper with the ball in the third Test against South Africa.
As Cricket Australia, Steve Smith and the rest of the team scramble to deal fallout from the cheating scandal our readers have wasted no time passing judgement on those involved.
And the message from the Australian public is clear: The ball tampering incident is un-Australian, not in the spirit of cricket and Smith should be immediately sacked.
More than 8000 people (and rising) voted in our online poll, with a huge 88% calling for Smith's head.
Below are some of the comments readers have made this morning as the country struggles to come to terms with one of Cricket Australia's darkest days.
There is no honour in the Australian Cricket team any more. Bad sports, hated by other national teams such as South Africa and India, not because they are a formidable team who demands respect for their ability and professionalism, but because they are a bunch of adolescent brats who play dirty. And now they are admitted cheats. Much to say about the effect of going professional and pressure from media and sponsors. Time to clear the chessboard. Smith should go and take that loser Warner with him. - ROGER
The Don must be looking down in total despair at Smith's trashing of Australia's sporting ethos. - PETER
This is disgraceful blatant cheating and shows that winning has become more important than the game and the spirit it is played in.Smith and the leadership group should be suspended forthwith and replacements sent over. - STEPHEN
A black day in he history of Australian cricket and as much as I love Steve Smith this raises massive questions about his suitability as Captain. Really poor stuff that's 100% unacceptable and we have shot ourselves in the foot big time. - MIKE
Shameful day for Australian cricket. The reputations of all current members of the Australian team tarnished forever. Warner partly responsible as his actions have piled extra pressure on the team. Smith must stand down as captain and Warner can not be his replacement. Bancroft, Smith and Warner should be banned from the next test. A strong experienced leader must be picked for the next test to settle the team. Not sure who that would be. Maybe George Bailey who is captain of Tasmania this year, has plenty of experience and has played for Australia before. Someone needs to teach Smith it's ok to want to win but not win at all costs. - PAUL
Not quite so proud to be Australian at the moment. Sorry guys, but i cant look at you in the same light again. 30 years of barracking for our Aussie team, down the gurgler. Inexcusable,,, im ashamed, embarrassed and quite pitiful for the poor innocents involved. Sad day for cricket fellas! - PETER
The Australian team should be made to forfeit for the rest of the season. - RAY
We are all Australians and it is our shame. - JOE
The fact that this cheating was caucused by the leadership group and possibly with full knowledge of the coach is not the worst thing believe it or not. The worst thing was to put the responsibility on a junior team member who is a couple of bad innings away from no longer having a test future. It's wrong, it's gutless, and it's hard to see Bancroft coming out from beneath the bus they have put him under. - OOPSTER
Since Mark Taylor, Australia's cricket captain has always been the best batsman in the team regardless of whether they have the right personality and temperament to fill that role. In the light of this recent incident and the need to restore some pride and respect in Australian cricket, perhaps the ACB needs to appoint as captain someone who may not be the best player, but who has the respect of the cricketing world, sets high moral standards and can be diplomatic on and off the field. The challenge is to find that person in Australian cricket! - JOHN
I'm absolutely livid about this. Shame on you Steve Smith, Dave Warner and others conspiring to do this. And how weak and gutless of Smith and co. to set up Cam Bancroft to take the fall here. - DEREK
Smith and Bancroft both have to go - Cricket Australia has been brought into ultimate disrepute. This is simply unsporting, dishonest behaviour. These people represent Australia in a sporting competition and cheating is never the Australian way. How can we provide leadership to junior and up and coming senior sports women and men when this is the standard of behaviour that they see exhibited at the highest levels. The cheats have to go and the team should be disciplined for condoning the very consideration of such behaviour. - JON
Well Australian cricket you have lost me as a fan. How could we? I always believed we were above this disgraceful trick. Pathetic. - BRUCE
As an Australian sports lover and an avid cricket fan who believes in the ethos of fair play I am ashamed. What do we tell our kids of these actions. This is a national disgrace from a national team and all should be sacked never to play for Australia again or coach Australian teams again they are bloody cheats - JOE
No no no no no! What a pity it has come to this. The morons who are behind this are a disgrace to the brand of cricket in Australia. Such a proud cricket nation, reduced to this, by overpaid buffoons. Consequences must be strong! - JUSTIN
If Smith knew it was going on he is just as complicit as Bancroft and even worse as he is the captain and should have pulled him up over the practice. He should at least be immediately stood down as Captain if not sacked from the team. - IANJ
Pretty gutless thing of the "leadership" group. Get the most impressionable player in the team to do their dirty work. How can they look in the mirror knowing that not only have they destroyed his career, but he will forever be known as a cheat. - MICHAEL
This is an act of betrayal of the trust of the Australian cricketing public. Obviously given Smith"s comments he does not yet realize the extent of what they have done and he does not want to accept any punishment. We all want to think that teams representing Australia don't cheat but now we know they do. I've lost interest in this team. Its achievements are forever tainted. - PAW