On the other hand, Australian Cricketer's Association (ACA) has questioned "a number of glaring and clear anomalies" in the process leading to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft being handed lengthy bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal. The ACA, which represents professional first-class cricketers, called for a proposed review into Australia's cricketing culture to be fully independent and extend to the CA's response to the scandal.
Australia skipper Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been banned by Cricket Australia from playing cricket for the country for 12 months for ball-tampering, on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Cameron Bancroft has been suspended for nine months by the Australian cricket body. This sanction means that Smith and Warner will be able to return just in time for the ICC World Cup 2019 but the duo will miss the India series at home, which is scheduled to be played in November this year. "Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft will not be considered for team leadership positions until a minimum of 12 months after the conclusion of their respective suspensions from international and domestic cricket. Any consideration of future leadership would be conditional on acceptance by fans and the public, form and authority among the playing group. David Warner will not be considered for team leadership positions in the future," CA said in a statement.
The CA officials also came down heavily on the disgraced cricketers and said that the penalties have been given to the trio to save the integrity and reputation of the country as far as sports in concerned. "As I indicated yesterday (Tuesday), the CA Board understands and shares the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about these events. They go to the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport and the penalties must reflect that. These are significant penalties for professional players and the Board does not impose them lightly. It is hoped that following a period of suspension, the players will be able to return to playing the game they love and eventually rebuild their careers," said David Peever, Cricket Australia Chairman. "As the Chairman has noted, the sanctions we have announced are significant for the individuals involved. That is why the process has had to be thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined. I am satisfied that the sanctions in this case properly reflect a balance between the need to protect the integrity and reputation of the game and the need to maintain the possibility of redemption for the individuals involved, all of whom have learned difficult lessons through these events," said James Sutherland, Cricket Australia CEO.
Both Smith and Warner had already stepped down as captains of their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) teams and after this latest sanction by Cricket Australia, the BCCI have sprung into action and banned the disgraced duo from the cash-rich league altogether. Speaking to CNN News 18, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said: "I am not aware of the punishment as dissed out by Cricket Australia but if they (Warner and Smith) are banned by their own cricket body then they won't take part in the IPL." Meanwhile, IPL commissioner Rajiv Shukla also said that the Aussie duo won't be allowed to take part in the league and the SRH and RR will get a chance to replace the two banned players. "The franchises will get replacements for the players as they (David Warner and Steve Smith) will not be allowed to play this year," Rajiv Shukla told media-persons. Cricketnext had broken this story first as earlier, a senior BCCI official had said that all speculations mean nothing if the CA bans them for even two months as any player banned by his host body cannot be a part of the IPL.
“To be honest, I don’t understand what all the cry is about. If the CA goes ahead and bans them, there is no way that the IPL franchises can accommodate them, just like Andre Russell had to skip the IPL after he was caught violating doping clauses. If CA says that they have decided to ban the two players, that is where it all ends for them as far as IPL 11 is concerned. The IPL GC actually has no role,” the official had said. Earlier, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland had announced that the troika of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will be sent back home on Wednesday and Matthew Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns had been named as replacements for them for the final Test against South Africa. “Prior knowledge of the plan in question was with Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft only. No one knew about the plan other than these three. Darren Lehmann the coach was not in the know how and will continue as the coach of the team. All three players will be sent back to Australia on Wednesday and their replacements will come in within 24 hours,” Sutherland stated. “Darren Lehmann has not resigned or offered to step down as the coach of the team, and will continue in the capacity of coach with the team.”
Sutherland, who began his press briefing in Johannesburg with heartfelt apologies to the Australian and South African cricketing fraternity and the rest of the world has promised that after Cricket Australia’s probe is completed ‘significant sanctions’ will be announced within the next 24 hours. Sutherland, on his part has promised a thorough probe into the scandal before further decisions are announced. On behalf of Cricket Australia, I want to apologise to all Australians that these events have taken place, especially to all the kids." He added: "I want to also apologise to Cricket South Africa and South African fans that this issue has overshadowed what should have been a great series." "In view of the broader reputational and integrity issues involved, the sanctions that will be contemplated are significant. The process must be balanced therefore thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined." Smith has already been suspended for one Test and docked his entire match fee by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his role in the affair.