Turnbull responds to Australian cricket scandal

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has shared his disappointed over the Australian cricket team's ball tampering scandal, while the Australian Sports Commission has called on Cricket Australia to act immediately.

In an unprompted address in Cobden, where he was visiting families and residents affected by recent bushfires, Turnbull revealed he had called Cricket Australia chairman David Peever to discuss the incident.

Cameron Bancroft was charged by the ICC match referee after TV cameras caught the Australian fielder rubbing tape on the ball.

Read Turnbull's full comments below:

"We all woke up this morning shocked and bitterly disappointed by the news from South Africa," Turnbull said.

"It seemed completely beyond belief that the Australian cricket team had been involved in cheating. After all, our cricketers are role models. And cricket is synonymous with fair play. How can our team be engaged in treating (cricket) like this? It beggars belief. A lot of disappointment. Let me tell you what has happened today from my point of view.

"I have spoken with David Peever, the chairman of Cricket Australia a few moments ago, and I have expressed to him very clearly and unequivocally my disappointment and my concern about the events in South Africa. And he has said to me that Cricket Australia will be responding decisively, as they should.

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Smith and Turnbull in 2016. Pic: Getty

"It's their responsibility to deal with it but I have to say that the whole nation, who holds those who wear the baggy green up on a pedestal -- about as high as you can get in Australia, certainly higher than any politician, that's for sure -- this is a shocking disappointment. It's wrong and I look forward to Cricket Australia taking decisive action soon.

"I think I speak for all Australians in saying how shocked and disappointed we all are. It honestly seems beyond belief. And I have to say, knowing a number of the players, including the captain, quite out of character. But it's been admitted."

Following Turnbull's comments, the Australian Sports Commission -- a high-profile government agency responsible for funding and guiding the nation's sporting endeavours -- issued a statement calling on Cricket Australia to stand down the key players.

CA chief executive James Sutherland declared the organisation would not act until a full investigation, to begin at the completion of the third Test.

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"The ASC condemns cheating of any form in sport," read a statement by ASC chair John Wylie, the board and CEO Kate Palmer.

"The ASC expects and requires that Australian teams and athletes demonstrate unimpeachable integrity in representing our country.

"The Australian cricket team are iconic representatives of our country. The example they set matters a great deal and to the thousands of young Australians playing or enjoying the sport of cricket and who look up to the national team as role models.

"Given the admission by Australian captain Steve Smith, the ASC calls for him to be stood down immediately by Cricket Australia, along with any other members of the team leadership group or coaching staff who had prior awareness of, or involvement in, the plan to tamper with the ball.

"This can occur while Cricket Australia completes a full investigation."

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