CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - MARCH 27: Steve Smith during the Australian national mens cricket team activities in and around Cape Town on March 27, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Brenton Geach/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Smith, Warner and Bancroft hit with extensive bans

Australian captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been banned from cricket for 12 months and Cameron Bancroft for nine months in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.

The trio are not allowed to compete in international cricket or Australian domestic competitions like the BBL or Sheffield Shield during this time and Warner and Smith have had their $2.4m IPL contracts revoked.

They have been encouraged to play Premier Cricket and are required to complete 100 hours of service within the cricket community.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland spoke of the suspensions at a press conference overnight.

“These sanctions will reflect the gravity with which we view what has occurred and the damage it has done to the standing of Australian cricket,” Sutherland said.

“The key finding is that prior knowledge of the ball tampering incident was limited to three players: Captain Steve Smith, Vice captain David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

“No other players or support staff had prior knowledge and this includes Darren Lehmann who despite inaccurate media reports, has not resigned from his position. He will continue to coach the Australian men’s team under his current contract.”

Several former players of the game have taken to social media to weigh in on the sanctions.

“Steve Smith I think is a good guy who made a huge mistake … He needed punishing but I think this is too harsh … Bancroft who I don’t know was led astray but deserved punishing but again too harshly IMO … The other guy I really don’t care about …” former England captain Michael Vaughan said on twitter.

“I’ve woken up this morning actually gutted for Smith, Warner & Bancroft. Yes they were involved and will be sanctioned but I’m afraid they weren’t the only ones(& I don’t think anyone else believes they were)… I hope they get a fair trial,” Kevin Pietersen, former England and Melbourne Stars player, tweeted.

Australian cricketing legend Shane Warne expressed his thoughts on the suspensions in an article for the Herald Sun this morning.

“Like every other Australian and cricket lover around the world, I was shocked and disgusted by what we saw in Cape Town,” he wrote.

“To hear that the Australian cricket team had been involved in pre-mediated cheating is something that is embarrassing. There is no way you can condone it.

“We are all so hurt and angry and maybe we weren’t so sure how to react. We’d just never seen it before.

“But the jump to hysteria is something that has elevated the offence beyond what they actually did, and maybe we’re at a point where the punishment just might not fit the crime.”

Key findings of Cricket Australia investigation:

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been charged with a breach of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct, namely that their conduct:

(a) was contrary to the spirit of the game;

(b) was unbecoming of a representative or official;

(c) is or could be harmful to the interests of cricket; and/or

(d) did bring the game of cricket into disrepute.

In respect of the individual players concerned, Cricket Australia advises the following:

Steve Smith was charged with a breach of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct based on:

(a) knowledge of a potential plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(b) failure to take steps to seek to prevent the development and implementation of that plan;

(c) directing that evidence of attempted tampering be concealed on the field of play;

(d) seeking to mislead Match Officials and others regarding Bancroft’s attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball; and

(e) misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent and participants of the plan

David Warner was charged with a breach of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct based on:

(a) development of a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(b) instruction to a junior player to carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper;

(c) provision of advice to a junior player regarding how a ball could be artificially altered including demonstrating how it could be done;

(d) failure to take steps to seek to prevent the development and/or implementation of the plan;

(e) failure to report his knowledge of the plan at any time prior to or during the match;

(f) misleading Match Officials through the concealment of his knowledge of and involvement in the plan; and

(g) failure to voluntarily report his knowledge of the plan after the match

Cameron Bancroft was charged with a breach of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct based on:

(a) knowledge of the existence of, and being party to, the plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper;

(b) carrying out instructions to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(c) seeking to conceal evidence of his attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball;

(d) seeking to mislead Match Officials and others regarding his attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball; and

(e) misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent, implementation and participants of the plan

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