Melbourne, Apr 4 (PTI) Former Australia skipper Steve Smith won’t challenge the one-year ban imposed on him for his role in the ball-tampering scandal as the troubled cricketer sought to justify the punishment, saying it was meant to send out a “strong message”.

Smith, his deputy David Warner and young Cameron 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 is speculation that Warner may challenge the punishment.

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, the British 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.