Cricket Australia will not reconsider reducing the ban on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft in the ball-tampering case despite a series against a full-strength India awaiting them next month.
Skipper Smith and his deputy Warner were slapped with a one-year international ban while rookie Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months by Cricket Australia in March this year for their role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) termed the punishment on the trio “harsh” and called for a reconsideration but CA chairman David Peever remained adamant and turned down the plea. “Sanctions were carried out and imposed by the board after a very full and thoughtful process. So the sanctions stand,” said Peever.
“As chairman of the board of CA, I accept responsibility for what happened in South Africa, but I’m also very confident that we’re positioned to move forward from here. “We’ve learned many lessons and of course there has been a lot going on since then. Both within the playing group and within the organisation itself to move things forward.” Bans imposed on Warner, Smith and Bancroft for their role in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal should be re-examined in light of systemic failings raised by the independent reviews into CA, the players union president Greg Dyer said.
The scandal involved the three players conspiring to use sandpaper to illegally alter the shape of the ball in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Calls have been growing for Smith and Warner to return to the international fold after a string of poor performances by the national team. The series against India will get underway from November 21, comprising three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs. The series will end on January 21. The bans on Smith and Warner will be in effect till April 2019, while Bancroft’s suspension ends in January.