(Reuters) - England coach Trevor Bayliss said he was disappointed and embarrassed by the ball-tampering scandal that has rocked Australian cricket, describing the players’ actions in the third test against South Africa as “a terrible mistake”.
Australian Bayliss coached England in their recent 4-0 Ashes defeat.
“I’m obviously disappointed, and as an Australian I’m embarrassed,” Bayliss was quoted as saying by www.cricket.com.au on Tuesday.
“(Australia captain) Steve (Smith) is a lovely young bloke who has made a terrible mistake, and I’m sure Cricket Australia (CA) will work out the course of action required.
“They obviously will be punished, but I’ve no idea how severe, we’ll have to see what Cricket Australia come up with.”
Bayliss said had seen no evidence of the Australians attempting to alter the state of the ball during the Ashes series.
“I thought we were outplayed by a much better team. I’ve got no complaints,” he said.
England captain Joe Root has also said he had no knowledge of any attempt to tamper with the ball in the Ashes while seamer Stuart Broad was surprised the Australians had felt the need to cheat.
“I saw Steve Smith say it was the first time they have tried it,” Broad told reporters in Auckland where England are involved in a test series against New Zealand.
“To me, it’s surprising – why they would change a method that’s been working?
“If you look at the Ashes series we’ve just played, they reverse swung the ball in nearly all of those test matches, sometimes in conditions where you wouldn’t expect the ball to reverse.
“I don’t understand why they have changed their method for this one game.”
CA is due later to announce later on Tuesday the findings of its internal investigation into the conduct of captain Smith, his deputy David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft, as well as any other players who may have been involved in the cheating.
CA CEO James Sutherland is giving a news briefing in Johannesburg, where he is likely to announce the punishments to be handed out to the players.
Bancroft, allegedly under the instruction of Smith, was caught on camera using sticky tape to pick up granules of dirt off the pitch to rub on the ball in order to generate reverse swing.
The touring side have called up opening batsman Matthew Renshaw to the squad that has arrived in Johannesburg ahead of Friday’s fourth and final test at The Wanderers. South Africa lead the series 2-1.
Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond