Mitch Marsh insisted Australia will not be distracted by T20 World Cup according to the recent statements of the former captain of South Africa Faf du Plessis did in connection with the 2018 sandpaper crisis.

Australia lost their Trans-Tasman tournament opener to New Zealand on Saturday, although the hosts and defending champions can get their campaign back on track against Sri Lanka in Perth.

But Tuesday’s match was overshadowed by extracts from Du Plessis’ book in which he details how the Proteas suspected Australia of ball-tampering before they were caught in Cape Town four years ago.

Marsh said: “I’m not a big reader so I’m not sure what’s out there. We have to focus on the World Cup as a group. We are focused solely on this. We are a really close and close-knit group.

“I’m just looking forward to the next few weeks.”

Du Plessis, in his forthcoming autobiography, claims South Africa was suspicious of how many Australian bowlers were withdrawn back in Durban.

This prompted Du Plessis and South Africa to watch the “second Test… through binoculars so we can keep a closer eye on the ball while Australia are fielding”.

Du Plessis added: “When we noticed that the ball was going to David Warner quite often our changing room must have looked like a birdwatching shelter as we scrutinized our binoculars.’

In the third trial, Cameron Bancroft tried to use sandpaper to finish one side of the sword before being caught on camera hiding the evidence in his pants.

Bancroft was banned for nine months and suspended for a year Steve Smith and David Warner, who as the instigator of the scandal was banned for life from the management of Cricket Australia.

We have to focus on the World Cup as a group. We are focused solely on this. We are a really close and close-knit group

Mitch Marsh

But CA is considering changing its code of conduct to allow Warner to lead the side Pat Cummins absent in Tests or ODIs or Aaron Finch should miss the T20.

Marsh backed Warner to focus on matters on the field as Australia can afford another slip-up in the Super 12s after a horrific 89-run loss to the Kiwis that affected their net rating.

Marsh said: “He’s an incredible person to have around our group. He is a great manager. He just has so much energy. He’s our unofficial team leader, so that probably distracts him the most.

“He had an amazing career. It’s clear that he’s managed to block out a lot of distractions, and that’s what separates the best players in the world from the rest – they’re focused solely on their work.

“He’s vital to our team, the way we play. Whenever we see him with his back against the wall, he’s always standing up for us.”