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Bancroft banned for nine months over ball-tampering

Cameron Bancroft fields during the Test match between South Africa and Australia at Cape Town. Credit: PA

Somerset County Cricket Club's overseas player for the upcoming season, Cameron Bancroft has been banned for nine months over the Australia ball-tampering scandal.

Cameron Bancroft signed for the club at the end of 2017 in a deal that contracted him to play in the County Championship and One-Day Cup.

He was the batsman caught on camera attempting to change the condition of the ball during Australia's third Test against South Africa. Bancroft had said he used tape and dirt, though Cricket Australia said that it was sandpaper.

Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been banned for 12 months. The punishments have been confirmed by Cricket Australia.

The CA board understands and shares the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about these events.

They go to the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport and the penalties must reflect that.

These are significant penalties for professional players and the board does not impose them lightly. It is hoped that following a period of suspension, the players will be able to return to playing the game they love and eventually rebuild their careers.

– David Peever, Chairman, Cricket Australia

Warner has emerged as the apparent ringleader, with CA charging him with "development of a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball"

The 31-year-old will not be considered for a team leadership position in the future, CA added, while Smith and Bancroft will not be considered for such roles until 12 months after their bans end.

Bancroft, 25, playing in only his eighth Test, was charged with "knowledge of the existence of, and being party to, the plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper", and "carrying out instructions to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball".

All three players will be permitted to play club cricket, and will be encouraged to do so, to maintain links with the cricket community.

In addition, all three players will be required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket.

It puts the batsman's future with Somerset in doubt - the club says it is waiting on Cricket Australia's investigation before making any further comment.

Marching orders - batsman Cameron Bancroft has been sent home after his role in the ball-tampering scandal. Credit: PA