(Eds: Updating with Cameron Bancroft decision) Melbourne, Apr 4 (PTI) Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft will not challenge the bans imposed on them for their role in the ball-tampering scandal as the disgraced former Australia skipper sought to justify the punishment, saying it was meant to send out a “strong message”.
Smith, his deputy David Warner and young Bancroft were handed bans up to one year by Cricket Australia following the scandal during their disastrous South Africa tour, which ended in an embarrassing 1-3 series defeat.
The trio has time till April 11 to challenge the bans.
“I would give anything to have this behind me and be back representing my country. But I meant what I said about taking full responsibility as Captain of the team. I won’t be challenging the sanctions. They’ve been imposed by CA to send a strong message and I have accepted them,” Smith wrote on his twitter page.
There are speculations that Warner may challenge the punishment.
Just hours after Smith tweeted that he would accept his 12-month penalty, Bancroft took to social media to announce that he too had told Cricket Australia that he won’t be looking to have the penalty downgraded or overturned.
“Today I lodged the paperwork with Cricket Australia and will be accepting the sanction handed down. I would love to put this behind me and will do whatever it takes to earn back the trust of the Australian public. Thank you to all those who have sent messages of support,” Bancroft tweeted.
The Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) president Greg Dyer had expressed his displeasure over the severity of the punishment, saying it was disproportionate.’ “Of the dozen or so matters of this type (ball-tampering), the most severe suspension to date has been a ban for two one-day internationals. The most expensive fine has been 100 percent of a match fee,” Dyer had said.
“The informed conclusion is that as right as the motivation is, the proposed penalties are disproportionate relative to precedent. The grading and sanctions proposed were significantly higher than that applied by the ICC following the game,” Dyer added.
Meanwhile, media has reported that Smith, who has also been banned to play domestic cricket but allowed to compete in grade cricket in his country, may turn up for an English County side when the season begins April 13.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.