Historic bans bring end to Australian cricket's most tumultuous week

Cricket Australia has revealed the full toll of its investigation into the Test team's ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, confirming David Warner was responsible for the plan to tamper with the ball and declaring the object used was sandpaper after all.

The governing body announced sanctions of 12 months for Steve Smith and Warner and nine months for Bancroft on Wednesday night following the conclusion of its investigation into the ugly saga.

In addition to serving suspensions from international and state cricket, Smith has been banned from captaining Australia for two years and Warner from all leadership positions for life.

CA's findings reveal Warner was charged with the "development of a plan" and "instruction to ... (and) provision of advice to a junior player" on carrying out ball tampering, among other indiscretions.

"(The events) go to the integrity and reputation of Australian cricket and Australian sport and the penalties must reflect that," CA chairman David Peever said.

"These are significant penalties for professional players and the board does not impose them lightly."

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Smith was found to have had knowledge of Warner's plot, failed to consider preventing his vice-captain, directed Bancroft to hide the sandpaper, lied to match officials and the public.

CA has also ordered all three players to complete 100 hours of service in community cricket.

The banned trio. Pic: Getty

EARLIER: CA chief executive James Sutherland informed the players of their sanctions at the team's Johannesburg hotel on Wednesday morning. The three players have seven days to consider the charges.

Smith was seen embracing his shattered teammates before departing for the airport, where he will fly to Sydney to face the media on Thursday.

He shared a particularly emotional moment with wicketkeeper Tim Paine, who has replaced the 28-year-old as captain, as the pair offered a hug and a handshake.

Warner, whose international career is considered under threat due to his deteriorated relationship with the Test team's senior players, was not seen at the hotel but is expected to head home on the same flight as Smith.

Neither player will be considered by Australian selectors until the lead-up for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, which will be played in England ahead of what looms as one of the most controversial Ashes series in recent history.

The plain-clothed Steve Smith was ushered through Johannesburg's international airport. Pic: Getty

Bancroft, 25, will be available to play for his country from this summer.

The suspensions are all-encompassing on an Australian domestic level but do not apply to overseas competitions such as Twenty20 tournaments or the County Championship.

The players will not be able to play in the Sheffield Shield, one-day cup or Big Bash League, meaning their only local option is to play grade cricket.

The BCCI has barred Smith and Warner from the Indian Premier League, where they had been slated to captain, respectively, the Rajasthan Royals -- a team returning from a two-year corruption and match-fixing ban -- and Sunrises Hyderabad on $2.4m contracts.

"The BCCI hopes that the cricketers participating in the IPL hold the highest regard for the Spirit of Cricket and code of conduct for players and match officials," the organisation said in a statement.

During the recent Ashes series, Bancroft signed a deal with Somerset to play for the Taunton outfit in this year's England's County Championship.

with AAP