SYDNEY, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The three players deemed to be the masterminds of Australian cricket's ball-tampering scandal in South Africa have been hit with lengthy bans on Wednesday.
While captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were suspended for 12 months, Cameron Bancroft only received a nine-month ban, despite being the one caught by umpires trying to scuff the surface of the ball using a foreign object.
In a statement, Cricket Australia said the inexperienced rookie was "instructed" by Warner to use "sandpaper" to alter the condition of the ball.
To add further insult, Smith and Warner have both had their lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) contracts torn up, with the competition set to begin next month.
As a result both players will miss out on 1.9 million U.S. dollars each.
The main reason for the decision, according to media reports, was that Warner's Hyderabad Sunrisers and Smith's Rajasthan Royals could not guarantee the players' safety in light of the embarrassing scandal.
Although the three men will be banned from all forms of international cricket, the disgraced trio will be permitted to play local club cricket and will be "encouraged to do so to maintain links with the cricket community."
"The players will also have to undertake 80 hours of voluntary service in community cricket," the statement said.