CAPE TOWN – Australia captain Steve Smith has said his side deliberately tried to tamper with the condition of the ball on the third day of the third test against South Africa at Newlands on Saturday in an orchestrated attempt to gain an advantage.

Batsman Cameron Bancroft has been charged by the International Cricket Council and Smith told reporters that it was a deliberate plan from the “leadership group” of the side, but added he would not step down as captain.

“The leadership group knew about it, we spoke about it at lunch,” Smith told a news conference.

“I am not proud of what has happened. It’s not in the spirit of the game, my integrity and the integrity of the team has been damaged and rightfully so. It’s not on and it won’t happen again, I can promise you.”

However, former players and pundits have demanded Steve Smith give up the Australia cricket captaincy for “blatant cheating” in the wake of stunning ball-tampering revelations during the third test against South Africa in Cape Town.