Sydney: The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) has asked Cricket Australia to review the “disproportionate” sanctions imposed on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft who were embroiled in the ball-tampering scandal during the Cape Town Test.
Following the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australia cricket, Smith and Warner were banned for a year from international cricket for orchestrating the event, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.
“The proposed penalties are disproportionate relative to precedent. We ask that consideration be given to recalibrating the proposed sanctions, to consider options such as suspending or reducing part of the sanction. To consider allowing the players to return to domestic cricket earlier, for example, as part of their rehabilitation,” the ESPNcricinfo quoted ACA president Greg Dyer as saying.
Dyer pointed out that the incidents of ball-tampering have happened in the past and looking at those, the sanctions imposed in the recent one seems comparatively disproportionate.
He added that the association members are in ongoing conversations with Cricket Australia through this process.
The banned cricketers now have time till Thursday to take a call whether to appeal against Cricket Australia penalties or not.
Commenting on that, Dyer said, “We’re supporting them through that process but ultimately [whether to appeal is] for the three players to decide.”
Extending support to the banned players, the former Australian wicketkeeper quipped that the three players need to be involved with cricket during the suspension time and thus the sanctions should be relaxed.
“The players need to be brought back into the confines of the game to be supported by the game – to be assisted by the game, in the rehabilitation. If the sanctions were to prevent that then I think that would be a bad outcome.”
He added that the extraordinary remorse of Smith, Warner and Bancroft should be taken into account by Cricket Australia to initiate a fair process.
“Their distressed faces have sent a message across the globe as effective as any sanctions could be. Australia cried with Steve Smith last Thursday. I certainly did. We expect this contrition to be taken into account,” Dyer said.