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Cricket Australia Rules Out Any Changes to Smith, Warner & Bancroft Bans

Cricketnext Staff |November 20, 2018, 11:38 AM IST
Cricket Australia Rules Out Any Changes to Smith, Warner & Bancroft Bans

There will be no change in the status of the bans of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, Cricket Australia ruled on Tuesday (November 20) after reviewing a submission lodged by the Australian Cricketers' Association on behalf of the trio.

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", insisting that the bans were appropriate as it had caused a considerable impact on the reputation of Australian cricket.

"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," CA Interim Chair Earl Eddings said.

"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.

Smith and Warner, then Australia's captain and vice-captain, were banned from state and international cricket for 12 months over the incident in South Africa in March, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.

While Smith and Warner's bans will end on 29 March 2019, which essentially puts them out of contention from the home series against India and BBL 2019, Bancroft can make a comeback after December 29.

"The original decision of the Board to sanction the players was determined after rigorous discussion and consideration. 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," Eddings 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."

Smith and Warner are two of the best batsmen in world cricket and the debate over their bans was played out against the backdrop of Australia's continued struggles in all formats of the game. 2018 has been the lowest point in Australia’s ODI cricket history. They have lost 11 out of the 13 ODIs they have played this year - their worst-ever slump in ODIs.

With Australia's defence of the 50-overs World Cup starting in England at the end of May and the defence of the Ashes following in August and September, there was clearly a desire among some Down Under to get the duo back as soon as possible.

Edding, however, made it clear that no further submissions for a review of the punishments would be heard by the CA board.

"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," he said.

"As such, the Cricket Australia Board doesn’t intend to consider further calls for amendments to the sanctions."

Smith and Warner have both been retained by their franchises in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) for the next version of the competition, which starts on March 29.

Meanwhile, ACA has sent out a statement stating that they respectfully disagreed with CA's decision but accepted it. The release also stated that the ACA now considered the matter as closed.

"While the ACA respectfully disagrees with CA's decision, it is accepted," read a release."The ACA's submission provided an opportunity for CA to recalibrate its player sanctions by permitting a return via domestic and/or international cricket. It remains the ACA's view that a recalibration of these sanctions would have been a just outcome.

"The ACA has done all it could in support of our submission, and now considers the matter closed."

The Australian cricket team's next assignment will see them come up against India.

Speaking to the media in Brisbane ahead of the first T20I, Virat Kohli let talk of Smith-Warner's bans and the incident pass by and said, "Well, I exactly don't know what happened before those decisions were taken, obviously everyone saw what happened but unless I know the details it is not my place to comment on because the decision has been made by someone that has been going on in the sidelines and that is not my place to give an opinion on."

(With inputs from Reuters)

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