Warner, Smith, Bancroft ball-tampering bans upheld


The wide-ranging review was commissioned after the ball-tampering scandal earlier this year which led to the resignation of head coach Darren Lehmann and year-long bans for former captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner.

The Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) on Tuesday lifted their spirits by calling for an immediate lifting of the sanctions, which has become the latest wedge between CA and the players' union.

Skipper Smith and his deputy Warner were slapped with a one-year worldwide ban while rookie Bancroft was suspended for nine months by Cricket Australia in March this year.

"What the Longstaff Review reveals is that Cricket Australia itself must also take a share of responsibility for what happened in South Africa", Greg Dyer, the ACA president, said.

The Australian Cricketers' Association responded by calling for penalties handed down to Australia captain Smith, his deputy Warner and opening batsman Bancroft to be reconsidered.

CA chairman David Peever, re-elected for three years only last Thursday, deflected questions about his own future on Monday.

Speed said that interview had convinced him that the former mining executive was not the right man to take Cricket Australia forward and that somebody with a background in the game needed to take over.

The report said the governing body was perceived as "arrogant" and "controlling" and treated its elite players like commodities, allowing "alpha-male" egos to develop a win-at-all-costs approach.

Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann, who stood down in the wake of the scandal, also joined calls to have the bans set aside and allow the trio to return to state and global cricket.

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"Over recent years, David Warner and Steve Smith have attracted the highest number of Code of Conduct breaches for worldwide matches", the review said. Dyer simply said: "Let them play".

Bancroft was suspended for nine months, while Smith and Warner were given 12-month suspensions.

Calls are growing for the bans on Smith, Warner, and Bancroft to be slashed.

The justice meted out to the disgraced trio is hardly mentioned by The Ethics Centre in its 145-page summary of the sorry state of Australian cricket.

The bans on the players will end in March 2019, opening up opportunity for them to get back to the side for the 2019 World Cup and Australia's Ashes tour. "I have been friends with the recent chairmen of Australian cricket".

"If accountability is to be a hallmark of Australian cricket then it must be applied to all leaders, whether their primary arena is on, or off, the field of play".

The vanquished coach denies overseeing a culture where his players abused team staff and doesn't agree game plans and strategies focused on Warner being an attack dog for the Australian team.

CA have said they will accept 32 of the recommendations and will consider seven more.

"We would obviously hope to receive more responses than that", Roberts said this morning. "So the sanctions stand", said Peever at a media conference on Monday after the review was made public.