In an interview on Melbourne radio station SEN, Sutherland categorically clarified that all three players Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft deserved a chance to find their way back into the team. “Absolutely, I think everyone deserves their chance and their own personal redemption story is very much in their own hands now. Each of them have to go about that during the time they’re out of the game and prove that their worthy (and) prove to the Australian selectors that they should want them back. They deserve that opportunity,” the CA CEO said.
Sutherland further said that he was sympathetic towards the three players and would like to see them back in the national team. “I feel for all three players. I feel forgiveness for all of them. I feel sympathy for them and I want to see them all come back and play their best cricket. I believe they all can,” he said.
Sutherland is also of the opinion that David Warner showed good leadership skills even though Cricket Australia had found that he was the one who instructed Bancroft to go through with the act of ball-tampering.
“David was very focused on being a better cricketer, being a better leader, being a better person and he worked very hard on those things. There were certainly good signals in that regard. You’ve only got to go to the end of our season in Australia before the team went to South Africa where he captained the team (in) a successful tri-series T20 competition to victory. All of the reports were that he led the team with aplomb. His leadership in all that was outstanding,” he said.
When quizzed about the appointment of David Warner as vice-captain, Sutherland said, “On one hand, it’s easy to look back in hindsight and say all those kinds of things but there were a lot of good positive signals around him in terms of how he was responding as a leader.”
The trio of Smith, Warner and Bancroft are allowed to play league cricket outside of Australia during the period of their Cricket Australia bans. But, both Warner and Smith, who in theory could have played the on-going IPL saw their contracts taken away, while Bancroft’s deal with Somerset was cancelled too.
“Part of the design within the sanctions was to allow them to stay connected with the game. I also see part of our role is to support them with their state associations and their clubs, to help them stay hungry and come back and play their best cricket,” Sutherland said.
First Published: May 1, 2018, 11:28 AM IST