Brisbane, Apr 6 (AFP) Australia top cricket chiefs today ruled out stepping down after a ball-tampering scandal that shocked the nation, saying it was “not the time for a witch-hunt” as a review into player conduct was announced.

The sport has been engulfed in one of its biggest crisis after former captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft attempted to alter the balls condition in the third Test in South Africa last month.

Smith and Warner were banned for a year and Bancroft for nine months, with the trio accepting their sanctions on Wednesday and Thursday.

Critics have questioned whether CAs role in the affair should come under scrutiny, but chairman David Peever said he did not intend to step down and that chief executive James Sutherlands job was not in jeopardy.

“James Sutherlands position is not under review, he continues to retain the full support of the board,” Peever told reporters in Brisbane.

“In respect of my own position, no, I do not intend to step down, and that hasnt been suggested by the board. Our task now is to work through this problem and make sure we come through and cricket comes through it much more strongly.

“I think we will all come under the microscope about what is happening in the organisation. But this is not the time for a witch-hunt.” Peever said the governing body was “moving forward”, with an independent review announced last week to “have a broad remit” and look into wider cultural and organisational issues in the sport.

He added that former ex-Test opener Rick McCosker would also chair a separate player and former-player driven process to consider a charter setting out “standards of behaviour and expectations of Australian teams”.

“It is anticipated that this process will include assessments as to whether changes to codes and standards governing player conduct are required,” Peever, a former managing director of mining giant Rio Tinto, said.

All three players have been dumped by sponsors as a result of the scandal, while Cricket Australia has been dropped by its top sponsor, fund manager Magellan. (AFP) AH

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.