As his countrymen pile on Australian cricket, an England great has urged Cricket Australia show caution when it sanctions the ball-tampering trio.
Bob Willis, who was at one stage second to only Dennis Lillee as Test cricket's leading wicket-taker, doesn't want Steve Smith, David Warner and "the lame duck" Bancroft sidelined for lengthy periods.
His comments contrast with fellow former English skippers Nasser Hussain, Michael Vaughan, Mike Atherton and Kevin Pietersen, who have delighted in deriding the actions of the Australian team.
Willis said stripping the leadership roles from Smith and Warner would be sufficient and noted other players found guilty of ball tampering had not been given particularly severe fines or suspensions.
"I hope they will consider the future of Australian cricket and these cricketers when they hand out these penalties," he told Sky Sports.
"Cricket usually sets the example about behaviour and, hopefully after this incident, it can go back to doing that."
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Willis said international cricket needed its best players playing Tests and not to be lost to the lucrative T20 format.
The 90-Test player also questioned why coach Darren Lehmann didn't know of the plans.
"Clearly the leadership group which Steve Smith referred in his press conference only included Warner, Smith and poor Bancroft - the lame duck if you like - who was sent out to do the dirty work," Willis said.
The three Australian players have been ordered home - replaced by Glenn Maxwell, Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw.
Wicketkeeper Tim Paine will lead the team in the fourth Test starting in Johannesburg on Friday.