In the aftermath of the ball-tampering incident in the New Lands Test match against South Africa in March 2018, the Australian trio Smith, Warner and Bancroft were handed variable length bans. Captain Steven Smith and Vice Captain David Warner were thrashed with a 12-month ban while the one who carried out the plan on the field – Cameron Bancroft – was hit with a 9-month ban.
A independent review was ordered by Cricket Australia (CA) just after the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa and it has come down heavily on the cricket board itself! The review which was out on Monday (Oct 29) has said that the board has ‘lost its balance and has stumbled badly’.
“The most common description of CA is as ‘arrogant’ and ‘controlling’. Australian cricket has lost its balance … and has stumbled badly. The reputation of the game of cricket, as played by men, has been tainted. Women’s cricket remains unaffected,” stated the review.
“The leadership of CA should also accept responsibility for its inadvertent failure to create and support a culture in which the will-to-win was balanced by an equal commitment to moral courage and ethical restraint,” added the review. Just after the review went on air, Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) indicated that it will request the board to reconsider the ban period handed over to Smith, Warner and Bancroft.
“My message to Cricket Australia is a simple one: these contrite men have been punished enough. Let these contrite men play I add that the ACA will be relentless in pursuing this end,” said Greg Dyer, ACA president. Cricket Australia in a statement made it clear that it will now await a formal submission from ACA for cutting short the bans imposed on the trio.
“We have seen the Australian Cricketers’ Association (statement) and note they will be making a submission to the CA Board in the next 48 hours. We look forward to engaging directly with the ACA in a positive and constructive manner in the best interests of the game,” said a Cricket Australia spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Australian former player Simon Katich has raised his concerns over shortening the bans imposed on the trio. He opined that these three players have admitted to the offence and the board should let them sit out of the team until the earlier imposed bans are over.
“I think the players should see out their bans. They admitted what they did was wrong, and they blatantly cheated. I just don’t think shortening the bans is going to do anyone any good,” said former Australian player Simon Katich to a local radio station in Melbourne (according to the CA website). Should the bans imposed on these three players be cut short? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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