Clarke slams 'disgraceful' Australia over ball-tampering

Michael Clarke labelled Australia's ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa as "disgraceful".

Australia batsman Cameron Bancroft was charged with "attempting to change the condition of the ball" after the team's leadership group devised a plan to try to gain an advantage on day three of the Cape Town Test.

Former captain Clarke slammed the team for their actions, although the 36-year-old was unwilling to comment on whether Steve Smith should step down as skipper, saying he was too emotional.

"It's premeditated cheating, it's blatant cheating, it's disgraceful, it's not accepted by anyone and particularly an Australian," he said on Channel Nine.

"We've got the best bowling attack in the world. We don't need to cheat to beat anybody."

Clarke was particularly scathing of Australia's leaders for allowing Bancroft, 25, to be a central part of their plan.

"I can't believe if the leadership group has made a decision to do this that they've gone and got the young kid who's playing his eighth Test match to do that," he said.

"As a leader, you can't ask somebody to do something you're not willing to do yourself, number one.

"Steve Smith is such a lovely, lovely guy. You can see there, he's just shattered. I really feel sorry for him."

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