Australian Cricketers Unions Calls on Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft Bans to be Reduced
The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), on Tuesday, insisted bans handed to Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft should get reduced.
The association backed its stance by claiming the punishment was disproportionate to previous ball-tampering cases.
Cricket Australia (CA) came down heavily on the disgraced trio in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal. The board banned Smith and Warner for 12 months while Bancroft was banned for nine months.
Following the bans, the trio issued an emotional apology and accepted responsibility for the scandal.
But while the incident has drawn widespread criticism, the players have received sympathy from the cricketing fraternity. Many feel that the lengthy ban was harsh on the players. And the ACA is also thinking along the same lines.
Questioning CA’s quick decision, ACA president Greg Dyer said,
“Justice which is rushed can sometimes be very flawed”.
Dyer urged a relaxation of the bans to allow the men to return to domestic action sooner.
“These proposed penalties are disproportionate relative to precedent,” Dyer said.
He was quick to single out the punishment given to Smith by the International Cricket Council. The governing body suspended Smith for one Test and docked him his match fee.
Dyer further said the regret expressed by players has been “extraordinary” and should be taken into account. All the three players became emotional while speaking to the media last week.
“Their distressed faces have sent a message across the globe as effective as any sanctions could be. I think Australia cried with Steve Smith last Thursday, I certainly did,” said Dyer.
“We consider that the players need to return to domestic cricket earlier and as part of their rehabilitation,” he added.
With the next World Cup and Ashes just over a year away, many feel that the trio should be playing domestic cricket. It would not only keep the players in touch but could also warrant selection.
Meanwhile, the players have until Thursday to inform Cricket Australia whether they accept their punishment or will opt for a hearing, as is their right.
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