Suspension of David Warner, Steve Smith in ball tampering case, upheld

File photo of former skipper Steve Smith and opener David Warner

Cricket Australia (CA) has upheld the suspension of former skipper Steve Smith, opener David Warner and bowler Cameron Bancroft for their alleged role in a massive ball-tampering scandal during a test series against South Africa in March this year.

The decision was taken during CA’s board meeting which was conducted to consider a request of the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), calling to lift the sanctions imposed on the players.

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Rejecting the ACA’s submission, the interim chairman of CA Earl Eddings said that it is ‘not appropriate to make any changes to the sanctions handed down to the three players.’

“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,” quoted Eddings, as saying.

“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, he added.

Eddings further stated that ongoing discussion about reducing the term of suspension of players is putting an “undue pressure” on players who are working hard to “demonstrate their commitment to cricket.”

The interim chairman also clarified that no further calls for amendments to the sanctions would be considered by the CA.

“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. 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,” Eddings said.

“As such, the Cricket Australia Board does not intend to consider further calls for amendments to the sanctions,” he added.

Smith and Warner, who were handed over a 12-month suspension, will not return to top-level cricket before March 30. Bancroft, on the other hand, is serving a nine-month ban and will not return to action before December 30.

(With ANI inputs)

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