This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Australia ball-tampering scandal that rocked world cricket.
During the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March 2018, Australia opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera attempting to change the condition of the ball with a piece of sandpaper that he subsequently hid down the front of his trousers.
Bancroft, captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were subsequently banned by Cricket Australia (CA), as the cricketing fraternity expressed its severe condemnation of such a blatant act of cheating.
Bancroft is back playing while Smith and Warner's lengthier suspensions are set to come to an end - in a World Cup and Ashes year, no less.
Below, we recap the events of a damaging 12 months for Australian cricket.
It’s great to be back home in Australia. I have had some time away to come to terms with everything and now it’s time to get back into it. The amount of emails and letters I have received has been incredible and I have been extremely humbled by the enormous amount of support you have given me. I now have a lot to do to earn back your trust. To my Mum, Dad and Dani you have been my rock through this and I can’t thank you enough. Family is the most important thing in the world and I thank you for your love and support.
March 24, 2018: During day three at Newlands, television replays begin to emerge of Bancroft rubbing the ball with sandpaper, which he then hides down his whites.
March 24: Bancroft and Smith face the media after the day's play, admitting - along with the "leadership group" - their plot to manipulate the ball, although they claim the foreign object was tape. Bancroft confirms he has been charged by the International Cricket Council (ICC) while Smith insists he will not resign as skipper.
March 25: Amid rising condemnation, Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull is scathing in his assessment of the issue, saying the plan to cheat "beggars belief". CA promises to investigate.
March 25: Shortly before the start of day four, it is confirmed Smith and Warner will relinquish their leadership roles for the remainder of the Test, with Tim Paine taking over as captain.
March 25: The ICC announces that Smith has been suspended for the fourth Test, although Bancroft is free to play. Australia collapse from 57-0 to 107 all out to lose by 322 runs in Cape Town.
BREAKING: Steve Smith has been fined 100% of his match fee and handed a one Test ban, Cameron Bancroft a 75% fine and three demerit points for ball-tampering incident.— ICC (@ICC) March 25, 2018
March 27: Smith, Bancroft and Warner are all sent home from the tour. CA decrees they were the only individuals who knew of the plan. Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Glenn Maxwell are called up.
March 28: CA hands Smith and Warner one-year bans from international and domestic cricket. Bancroft is suspended for nine months, while Warner will not be considered for any leadership roles in future. James Sutherland, CEO of CA, reiterates that head coach Darren Lehmann knew nothing of the plan. It is confirmed Bancroft used sandpaper and not tape on the ball.
March 29: An 'absolutely devastated' Smith breaks down in tears when addressing the media upon his return to Sydney. Bancroft also faces reporters and expresses remorse for his part in the fiasco.
Heartbreaking. Steve Smith has broken down delivering a message to young Aussie cricket fans. pic.twitter.com/l14AsvAhXz— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) March 29, 2018
March 29: Lehmann confirms he will resign from his post after the fourth Test. Sutherland insists he will not follow suit. Somerset cancel plans for Bancroft to join as the county's overseas player for 2018.
March 31: Speaking to the media at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Warner takes full responsibility for his actions while adding he has a "tiny ray of hope" that he will play for Australia again.
April 6: CA launches a review into "cultural, organisational and governance issues", employing an independent, player-driven panel to advise on future steps.
April 11: As expected, Smith, Warner and Bancroft are absent from CA's contract list for 2018-19.
May 2: Former opening batsman Justin Langer is appointed as Lehmann's successor as head coach.
June 3: Smith and Warner are each selected to play in the inaugural Global T20 Canada tournament. The pair later feature in the Caribbean and Bangladesh Premier Leagues, as well as Australian grade cricket.
June 13: During the first ODI between the sides at The Oval, England fans mock Australia's plight, distributing sandpaper marked with "4" and "6" to celebrate boundaries.
October 29: CA slammed as "arrogant" and "controlling" in the results of the body's independent review.
December 26: In the build-up to the Boxing Day Test against India, Bancroft gives an interview during which he suggests the plan to tamper with the ball was Warner's. "I didn't know any better," says Bancroft.
December 30: Bancroft returns from his ban and scores two for Perth Scorchers in a Big Bash League defeat to Hobart Hurricanes.
March 8, 2019: Although set to be eligible for the final two matches of the ODI series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates following the expiry of their bans, Smith and Warner are not included in the Australia squad.
March 21: Durham announce Bancroft as their new captain for the County Championship and One-Day Cup ahead of the start of the English domestic season.
24 de abril 2019
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