There is still a bleak chance Australia’s disgraced trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft could yet see an early end to the bans. Cricket Australia is reportedly considering the plea put forth by the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) for the punishments to be shortened.
According to Fairfax Media, the board is expected to huddle up in a meeting this week to discuss whether the bans should indeed be reduced.
Smith and Warner along Bancroft are currently serving bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March this year.
In the wake of the scandal, Cricket Australia had slapped lengthy bans on the trio. While Smith and Warner received one-year ban each, Bancroft was docked with a nine-month suspension. Smith also had to give up his captaincy. The trio was banned from playing international and first-class cricket for their states.
As per the original decision, the bans on Smith and Warner are to stay till March 29, 2019 while Bancroft’s time away is until December 29 this year. In case, Cricket Australia cut the bans shorts, the trio can feature in the challenging series against India at home.
The reduction of the bans has been a big topic of discussion in Australian cricket for quite some time now. The Longstaff review which put the blame for the ball-tampering saga on the ‘win without counting costs’ culture created by Cricket Australia has further helped the trio’s cause.
ACA wrote a 13-point reaction to the developments in regards to the review, and stated in their official release: “Given there is now independent verification that CA’s system and culture were contributing factors, the ACA Executive calls for the lifting of the Board imposed penalties on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.”
“My message to Cricket Australia is a simple one: these contrite men have been punished enough. Let these contrite men play,” Dyer said.“I add that the ACA will be relentless in pursuing this end.”
Meanwhile, the series against India will get underway with the T20I on November 21. Both the sides will compete in three T20Is, four Tests and three ODIs. After the three-match T20I series, the two teams will compete in a four-Test series, the first of which will be played from December 6, 2018, at Adelaide Oval.
The second Test will be at the Perth Stadium and will begin from December 16. After a week’s break, the two teams will travel to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test which begins on December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The fourth and final Test between the two countries will begin from January 3, 2019 at Sydney Cricket Ground, after which the two sides will square off in 3-match ODI series, the first of which will be played in SCG on January 12. The tournament will conclude with the third ODI at MCG on January 18.