IT has been a momentous week in the world of cricket and one that has rocked it to its core in Australia.

There are not many times when a paltry England innings score of just 58 does not make the headlines on these shores but the ball-tampering by the Aussies meant that was barely mentioned this past week.

And the news has just escalated throughout from the moment Cameron Bancroft reached into his pocket for some sandpaper at Newlands, to his arrival back Down Under on Friday.

Once caught red-handed, there was only one way things were going to go for Bancroft and his captain and vice-captain, Steve Smith and David Warner, and that was badly.

Admitting the offence at the end of the day’s play was unavoidable but even then it smacked of excuses that were later proven to be false. It was not tape but sandpaper.

Cricket Australia deserve credit for their swift action and I think it is correct the trio involved are punished for the shame they have brought to their country.

But it should not be the witch hunt it has turned into with talk of life bans.

Yes, they cheated and that is a heinous crime in any sport. But it is no different to having blood capsules in your mouth in rugby or feigning injury in football is it?

We may think cricket is above all others for gentlemanly conduct but not when you hear what the stump microphones pick up with sledging.

The more concerning aspect for me if I were Australian would be the spiralling behaviour of my team.

Never ones to shy away from arrogance or pushing the boundaries to the limit, this Aussie side has been embroiled in a succession of incidents that have left a sour taste.

From off-field spats, such as Warner and Joe Root’s confrontation in a bar in England in 2013, and physical clashes on the field during the recent tour of South Africa, the attitude has stank. And for that reason alone, it is right Smith and Warner lose leadership roles and also that Darren Lehmann goes.

Whether he knew about Warner’s plan or not is up for debate but the coach has to carry the can for the team’s behaviour, alongside the captain.

For his part in the tampering, Warner’s silence has been deafening.

Smith and Bancroft have been more remorseful and the tears have flowed, whether because they are truly sorry or just gutted they were caught.

The punishment has been dished out and they have plenty of time to reflect, but that should be the end of the matter.

They are young men who made a mistake and who of us can say we have never made a bad call.

Let them stew and think for a while but then let them get back to their careers to try to rebuild their reputation.

It’s the right thing to do for the good of the game.