Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will be serving the full length of their bans after Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday refused to reduce their punishment following a review submission by the players’ union. Smith and Warner, former captain and vice-captain of the Australian cricket team, were banned for 12 months each while Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months following the role they played in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa that rocked the foundations of the game. 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”.
There has been pressure on the governing body to reinstate the players amid a recent poor run of results.
The scandal, which rocked the sport, had far-reaching consequences in Australia with a clean-out of top executives from CA after a scathing review blamed its culture as partly contributing to players bending the rules.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association argued that the blame attributed to CA by the independent review was grounds to have the bans lifted.
Eddings, who became chairman this month after David Peever was forced out, said the board decision was unanimous.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Since the tampering scandal, the national team has been in a form slump with some high-profile former players saying Smith and Warner should be brought back as soon as possible, to the domestic Sheffield Shield competition at least.
Others argued that the bans should stay as all three players accepted their sanctions.
“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,” Eddings said.
“As such, the Cricket Australia board doesn’t intend to consider further calls for amendments to the sanctions.”