Days after Surrey coach, Michael Di Venuto suggested the county club would have no hesitation in signing either Steven Smith or David Warner for the season ahead; he has been slammed by former England fast bowler Darren Gough for thinking of signing the banned players.
Both Smith and Warner along with opening batsman Cameron Bancroft have been banned by Cricket Australia for ball-tampering in South Africa.
Smith and Warner have been handed a 12-month ban while the latter has been handed a nine-month ban.
However, all three of them are permitted to play in overseas domestic competitions.
Before the Surrey coach made any such statement, Smith and Warner’s multi-million dollar contracts for the Indian Premier League were ripped.
On the other hand, Bancroft who was supposed to play with Somerset in the county season also got excluded from the squad.
However, former England bowler Darren Gough has made it clear that he is strongly against any of the two suspended Australians playing county cricket.
“I was absolutely gobsmacked when I heard that Surrey coach Michael Di Venuto said he would be keen to sign one of Australia’s banned Test stars. I do think there has been an overreaction regarding the bans, but once they got the 12-month bans from Cricket Australia, I would be hugely disappointed if one of the counties – as a Yorkshire fan – employed one of those three this season. Next season, I would have no issue with it. They will have then served their ban. But not this season.”
Gough was also furious on Venuto after the Australian said that allowing Smith and Warner to play in county cricket would help Australian cricket.
With the next Ashes to be played in England in 2019, Gough was disappointed by Venuto’s statement.
“What disappointed me most about what Di Venuto said was that he actually stated that bringing in one of those three would benefit Australian cricket. I am not bothered about benefiting Australian cricket. Why would one of our coaches in this country want to benefit their cricket with the Ashes coming up here next year?”
“This year, with everything that has gone on, I think it would be a bad move for a county to take them.”