The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) have had their say on the Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft bans.
President Greg Dyer, a former Australian keeper, demanded Cricket Australia lift the 12-month bans on Smith and Warner, and the nine months on Bancroft, in the light of this week’s damning independent review.
“With this new information common sense, common decency, basic fairness, proportionality and natural justice demand that the punishment is reduced,” Dyer said.
“The players have already lost time in the game, chances to play for Australia, endured public humiliation and faced massive financial penalties.
“My message to Cricket Australia is a simple one: these contrite men have been punished enough. Let these contrite men play.”
The ACA execs join Australian legends Doug Walters, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne in calling for reduced bans, while former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted his disaproval of the bans as well:
Revealing in many ways .. but most Sports teams live in an ‘gilded bubble’ !! I Personally think the players Bans Should be reduced now CA have shared the blame .. thought the punishment was too harsh at the time anyway .. https://t.co/gU258tBTjb
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) October 29, 2018
Former Australian quick Geoff Lawson and former England captain Mike Atherton had a direct crack at Cricket Australia following the review.
“We need a serious cricket figurehead, not a corporate figurehead,” Lawson told Fox Sports News.
“The business of cricket has overwhelmed the playing of cricket.”
Atherton, the first Test cricketer to be found guilty of ball-tampering – against South Africa at Lords in 1994, for which he was fined $3700 – wrote that Peever’s re-election as chairman last week was “odd timing given the impending release of two ethics reviews that were clearly going to focus on the role of his organisation”.
“Given the tenor of the report, which provides gruesome context to the ball-tampering furore in Cape Town in March, Peever will be lucky to survive,” Atherton wrote for The Times
Despite the two media conferences dropping a massive bucket on CA, Peever has no intentions of resigning as chairman, nor lifting the bans on Smith, Warner, and Bancroft.
As it stands, the barred trio have served seven months, so Bancroft will be available for all selections in the New Year, while the other two must wait until March.
But the gathering storm clouds won’t finish with the above, it’s early days.
It will be interesting to see what Mark Taylor and Michael Kasprowicz – the only international cricketers on the nine-strong CA board – do in the coming days.
And how will India react? Smith and Warner, two of their brightest stars, are banned from the IPL, yet two local legends – Sachin Tendulkar in 2001 and Rahul Dravid in 2004 – were found guilty of ball-tampering.
The Tendulkar decision caused such a stink among the millions of devoted Indian fans that the charge was dropped, but Dravid was fined 50 per cent of his match fee.
Next cab off the rank for the beleaguered Australians are ODIs against South Africa, captained by the only two-time ball-tamperer, Faf du Plessis.