Australia lose major sponsor over ball-tampering scandal

Australia continue to pay the price for the ball-tampering controversy which has engulfed the nation, with Test naming rights sponsor Magellan terminating its three-year sponsorship deal.

Australian cricket has been left reeling after Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft oversaw a plot to deliberately tamper with the ball during the third Test against South Africa.

Axed captain Smith and vice-captain Warner will serve 12-month bans from all international and Australian domestic cricket, while Bancroft has been hit with a nine-month suspension for their roles in the pre-meditated plan which saw the latter attempt to alter the condition of the ball in Cape Town on Saturday.

The trio have the right to appeal their bans.

Now wealth-management company Magellan - who only signed a deal with Cricket Australia in August 2017 prior to the triumphant Ashes series against England - has walked away.

"A conspiracy by the leadership of the Australian Men's Test Cricket Team which broke the rules with a clear intention to gain an unfair advantage during the third test in South Africa goes to the heart of integrity," Magellan CEO Hamish Douglass said in the statement.

"Regrettably, these recent events are so inconsistent with our values that we are left with no option but to terminate our ongoing partnership with Cricket Australia.

"We were delighted with the recent Magellan Ashes Series sponsorship and it is with a heavy heart that we have to end our partnership in these circumstances."

Smith, Warner and Bancroft have all lost sponsors following the infamous controversy on the tour of South Africa.

The saga has sparked widespread criticism and interest from around the world, and England captain Joe Root shared his thoughts ahead of Friday's second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch.

Asked about sanctions handed down to Smith, Warner and Bancroft, Root told reporters on Thursday: "I think Cricket Australia has made a decision which is a bit of a statement to world cricket really.

"You see the amount of reaction it has got around the world. I think it just shows that everyone watching the game, and anyone who supports cricket, supports how they want to see the game played.

"In terms of the bans, that's a decision Cricket Australia had to make - and that's for them to decide. But the point is they've put a statement out there not just for Cricket Australia but for world cricket - and the reaction is all to do with how people want to watch cricket. I think it's quite a strong message for everyone."

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