Banned Australian stars Steve Smith and David Warner will not be returning to top-level cricket until the end of the home summer season with the Cricket Australian Board unanimously agreeing not to alter the set penalties.
The CA’s Board met yesterday to discuss the submission which was lodged by the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) on behalf of the duo, along with fellow teammate Cameron Bancroft, which called for the suspension to be lifted immediately.
The ACA used findings in the recently released Ethics Centre review which saw links between the culture of CA and their ‘win without counting the cost’ mindset of the men’s team as ‘new evidence’.
Unfortunately for the trio, and many eager Australian fans, the evidence was not sufficient enough to see the penalties be put aside to let the three resume their top-level careers.
A telephone hook-up of the CA members decided the players fate, as lengthy discussions were undertaken, but the outcome remained the sanctions in which the board imposed, and the players agreed too, would stand.
Interim chair Earl Eddings stated the ACA’s submission, which the union confirmed the players knew was lodged but didn’t request it, placed even more scrutiny on the trio that they didn’t deserve.
Eddings also said no further inquiries into overturning the penalties would be considered by the Board.
“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,” Eddings said today.
“Despite the absence of any recommendation regarding the sanctions in the recently released Ethics Centre Review, the Board has deliberated on the ACA’s submission at length.
“We have reconsidered the sanctions as they apply to each of Steve, David and Cameron in light of the ACA’s submission and the Ethics Centre Review and Recommendations.
“The original decision of the Board to sanction the players was determined after rigorous discussion and consideration.”
Eddings also revealed the board thought the length and nature of the sanctions remain the appropriate amount given the impact it had on Australian cricket and the game itself.
“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,” Eddings said.
“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 does not intend to consider further calls for amendments to the sanctions.
“Though we recognise that this decision will be disappointing for the ACA, we thank them for their submission.
“Our commitment to continue building a strong relationship between CA and the ACA in the interests of cricket in Australia remains and we look forward to meeting with them shortly to that end.”
The ACA stated they would be ‘relentless’ in its campaign of having the three players immediately reinstated in all forms of cricket.
42 recommendations were contained in the Ethics review (of which all but one was deemed by CA to be worthy of consideration or already in train) was that ACA and CA representatives meet in order to repair the ill-tempered relationship between the two.
That meeting is expected to be taking place within the coming weeks.
Bancroft’s nine-month ban will come to an end in late December, making him available for selection for his BBL’s club the Perth Scorchers game against the Hobart Hurricanes on December 30.
Given Smith and Warner were handed 12 month suspensions, this means they cannot be selected for Australia, New South Wales or their BBL outfits until March 28.
That date is the same as the JLT Sheffield Shield Final- the official end to the Australian summer.
The trio were in violation of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct during the third Test against South Africa last month.
As reported, the players took sandpaper onto the field in an attempt to alter the condition of the ball which:
• was contrary to the spirit of the game;
• was unbecoming of a representative or official;
• is or could be harmful to the interests of cricket;
• and/or did bring the game of cricket into disrepute
Afforded the opportunity to to appeal the respective penalties handed to each player to an independent commissioner, all players decided not to and accept their punishments.
Since the review of the CA’s culture, David Peever has stood down as chairmen along with the longest serving CA director Mark Taylor.