No Ashes foul play by Australia, says Root

SYDNEY • England cricket captain Joe Root says he does not suspect Australia of any ball-tampering during the recent Ashes series as the fallout continues.

The England captain's remarks, following an innings and 49-run defeat in the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland yesterday, were made after renewed speculation surfaced following Australia's ball-tampering shame in the third Test against South Africa.

Root reiterated that he was unaware of any foul play during the Ashes.

"Not to my knowledge. I personally wasn't aware of anything going on throughout that series. I have enough to worry about at the moment," he said, before adding, "all this is disappointing for Test cricket and for cricket in general."

He added that while the burden of responsibility would always fall upon the captain, some of it rested with the players, too.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia (CA) is hoping to share the results of its investigation into the fiasco tomorrow.

Steve Smith, who yesterday quit as skipper of Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals, was stood down from his post as Australia captain and banned for one Test match by the International Cricket Council on Sunday for conspiring to cheat.

Smith, widely accepted as the world's best batsman of the current generation, will remain in South Africa until the probe concludes.

In more trouble for the game Down Under, Australia's major cricket sponsors, including Qantas Airways, breakfast cereal maker Sanitarium and brewer Lion, have said they were assessing their relationships with CA.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2018, with the headline 'No Ashes foul play by Australia, says Root'. Print Edition | Subscribe