New Delhi, Mar 28: Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday reacted to the ball-tampering controversy that has rocked international cricket, saying the right decision was taken to uphold the integrity of the game. The retired cricketer said that winning is important, but the way one wins is more important.

“Cricket has been known as a gentleman’s game. It’s a game that I believe should be played in the purest form. Whatever has happened is unfortunate but the right decision has been taken to uphold the integrity of the game. Winning is important but the way you win is more important,” he wrote on Twitter.

Australian Captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and their teammate Cameron Bancroft have been suspended from cricket after they were found guilty of plotting to tamper with the ball on the third day of the third Test match against South Africa. While the International Cricket Council (ICC) let them off with minor reprimands, Cricket Australia handed them stringent punishments: Steve Smith and David Warner were banned for a year, whereas Bancroft was banned for 9 months.

The BCCI also penalised Warner and Smith by barring them from playing in the Indian Premier League. This was after Steve Smith was forced to step down as Rajasthan Royals skipper. IPL commissioner Rajeev Shukla said the teams will be allowed to pick their replacements. (Also read: Ball Tampering Row: Steve Smith, David Warner Banned For 12 Months)

Earlier, CA boss James Sutherland had ordered to sent the trio home and banned them from playing the final Test against South Africa.

The CA chief executive revealed the trio of Smith, Warner and Bancroft were the only members of Australia’s touring party – players or support staff – who had any knowledge of the plan to deliberately alter the condition of the ball.

Smith, Warner and Bancroft were found to have breached article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct, which relates to conduct at any time that is contrary to the spirit of the game, unbecoming of a representative, harmful to the interests of the game, or bringing the game into disrepute.

The sandpaper gate scandal broke after Bancroft was caught on camera using tape to rough up the ball in the third Test in Cape Town. Darren Lehmann remains as Australia’s coach, despite media reports he was set to resign over the ball-tampering incident, with wicket-keeper Tim Paine taking over as captain.