New Delhi, March 27: Taking a swift stand on the Australian ball-tampering controversy which caught skipper Steve Smith and other players on wrong foot, veteran India pacer Ashish Nehra on Monday said life ban for the erring cricketers would be a little “too harsh”. Also Read - Australia vs India 2021: Centurion Marnus Labuschagne Disappointed at Not Getting Big Score at The Gabba, Credits 'Disciplined' Indian Bowling Attack

“Life ban for them would be too harsh, not just for them but for any player,” Smith told reporters. Also Read - Brisbane Test | Had to Bowl Good Balls Over And Over Again to Get Steve Smith Out: Washington Sundar

“You have to give them (Smith and David Warner) credit that they accepted to ball-tampering and stood down from captaincy and vice-captaincy,” the left-arm pacer added. Also Read - 4th Test Lunch Report: India Remove Openers Cheaply Before Smith And Labuschagne Rebuild

Commenting on the erring cricketers’ future in the upcoming IPL season, Nehra said, “I do not think they should be expelled from IPL. Even if they play as players and not as captains for their respective franchises, the teams would be benefitted. They did a mistake but they admitted to it so we should move forward now.”

Earlier, Smith confessed to reporters in Cape Town on Saturday that the decision on ball-tampering had been taken by the “leadership group” of the team.

Following the fiasco, he and Warner stood down as captain and vice-captain respectively. Smith also stood down as the captain of his IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals.

Smith was handed a one-match suspension and fined 100 percent of his match fee for his leadership role in ball-tampering.

Additionally, Australia opener Cameron Bancroft has been fined 75 percent of his match fee and handed three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct. (With ANI inputs)