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Steve Smith and David Warner to serve out bans in full: Cricket Australia

India Today logo India Today 20-11-2018 IndiaToday.in

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will have to serve out their ball-tampering bans in full after the Cricket Australia (CA) Board reached a unanimous decision on the suspended trio. Former Test captain Smith and his vice-captain Warner were handed one-year bans from international and state cricket after the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket in March in South Africa.

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Bancroft, who was caught on cameras rubbing a sandpaper on the ball, was suspended for nine months. While Smith and Warner are into the 8th month of their bans, Bancroft will be eligible to play after December 29. The players' union, the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA), have always contested the bans were unduly harsh and had pushed for all three to be able to resume first class cricket immediately. "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," Cricket Australia's interim chairman Earl Eddings said in a statement.

The ACA's calls for the bans to be looked at again intensified after an independent review into CA last month suggested the governing body had contributed to the ball-tampering scandal by the culture it had fostered in the game. That review led to the resignation of CA chairman David Peever, who had forcefully maintained that the players should see out the full terms of their suspensions. "The original decision of the board to sanction the players was determined after rigorous discussion and consideration," Eddings, Peever's temporary replacement, added.

Also see - Australian cricket cheating scandal: How it unfolded

"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."

Smith and Warner are two of the best batsmen in world cricket and the debate over their bans, which are scheduled to expire at the end of March, was played out against the backdrop of Australia's continued struggles in all formats of the game. 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.

Eddings 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.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Also Watch: The ball-tampering saga that changed AUS cricket (Provided by ESPNcricinfo)

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