In Brief

Cricket Australia: bans stand for Smith, Warner and Bancroft

Trio were suspended after the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa

Cricket Australia (CA) has rejected a submission to reduce the bans of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

The trio were suspended following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March after it was found that sandpaper had been used to tamper with the ball in the Cape Town Test match. Smith and Warner were given 12-month bans while Bancroft received a nine-month suspension.

The BBC reports that the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) wanted the punishments lifted but CA announced today that no changes would be made to the sanctions.

CA interim chair Earl Eddings said in a statement: “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.

“The original decision of the board to sanction the players was determined after rigorous discussion and consideration. CA maintains that both the length and nature of the sanctions remain an appropriate response in light of the considerable impact on the reputation of Australian cricket, here and abroad.

“Steve, David and Cameron are working hard to demonstrate their commitment to cricket and have our continued support to ensure their pathway to return is as smooth as possible.

“We believe the ongoing conversation about reducing the sanctions puts undue pressure on the three players – all of whom accepted the sanctions earlier this year – and the Australian men’s cricket team.

“As such, the Cricket Australia Board doesn’t intend to consider further calls for amendments to the sanctions.”

The ACA has called the decision “disappointing”. A spokesman said: “While the ACA respectfully disagrees with CA’s decision, it is accepted. The ACA’s submission provided an opportunity for CA to recalibrate its player sanctions by permitting a return via domestic and/or international cricket.

“It remains the ACA’s view that a recalibration of these sanctions would have been a just outcome. The ACA has done all it could in support of our submission, and now considers the matter closed.”

ESPN reports that Bancroft’s ban finishes at the end of December but Smith and Warner will remain “ineligible for international or domestic cricket until the end of March 2019”.

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