Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will all have to serve their full bans for ball-tampering, Cricket Australia ruled on Tuesday after reviewing a submission by the players’ union to cut the penalties. CA interim chairman Earl Eddings said the board had “determined that it is not appropriate to make any changes to the sanctions handed down to the three players”. Smith and Warner, then Australia’s captain and vice-captain, were banned from state and international cricket for 12 months over the incident in South Africa in March, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months. Also Read - Former Australia Captain Michael Clarke Heaps Big Praise on Sachin Tendulkar, Calls India Legend 'The Best Batsman I Ever Saw'
There has been pressure on the governing body to reinstate the players amid a recent poor run of results. Bancroft’s ban is due to expire on December 29, while Smith and Warner will not be eligible to return until March 29, 2019. Also Read - I Have Imbibed Steve Smith's Art of Leaving Balls: Riyan Parag
In recent days, owing in no small measure to the Australian team’s poor on-field performances, there had been a growing clamour for the bans to be reduced in length. It would have allowed the duo as well as batsman Cameron Bancroft, who was given a nine-month ban, to return to competitive cricket earlier than stipulated. Also Read - Paine Rejects Clarke's 'Australia Scared to Sledge Kohli' Claim, Says Provocation Brings Out The Best in India Captain
The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) had made a submission in this regard, to which Cricket Australia responded in negative.
“The Cricket Australia Board has carefully considered all elements of the ACA submission and has determined that it is not appropriate to make any changes to the sanctions handed down to the three players,” interim chairman Earl Eddings said in a statement.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association had asked for a rethink on the suspension sentences of the trio following the Longstaff review, which the ACA said provided new and compelling evidence that CA – and not just the players involved – contributed to the atmosphere that prompted the events of the Cape Town Test in March.
With India set to play Australia in a long series, including four-Tests and considering the hosts recent run of losses, there were prompt calls to bring back Smith and Warner before the contests against the visitors.
Smith and Warner are eight months into their one-year bans, while Bancroft will be eligible to return in December. The trio were banned for their role in the ball tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket in March.
(With Quotes from Agencies)