The Australian Cricketers Association' (ACA) has called for bans on Steve Smith, Dave Warner and Cameron Bancroft to be reduced. The plea has found support from former players.

Greg Dyer, a former Test cricketer and the President of the ACA, said reviews of the ball-tampering incident which were released earlier this week showed the game’s administration must also take some responsibility for what happened.

“Yes, this moment of madness was ‘individual’ but now there is evidence and independent verification of system failure as well,” Dyer said.

Cricketers’ union: “These contrite men have been punished enough”

“The players have already lost time in the game, chances to play for Australia, endured public humiliation and faced massive financial penalties,” Dyer continued.

“My message to Cricket Australia is a simple one: These contrite men have been punished enough. Let these contrite men play. I add that the ACA will be relentless in pursuing this end.”

Legendary former Test wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, who was also a long-term Test selector, became the latest senior figure in the game to support the trio’s early return today.

“The thing is, they were banned on a premise, that they were the people to blame entirely,” Marsh said on 2 November.

“Well, it has been proven, I think, if you want to rely on what the review says, it has been proven that it wasn’t only them.

“So the ground has shifted a little bit. And as a result of the ground shifting I think there’s a strong case for them to be reinstated.”

Longstaff and McCosker reviews of the ball-tampering episode

Australia begin a new one-day international series against South Africa on Sunday 4 November desperate for victory after a historically barren run in the format.

However, most of the media attention this week has focused on two reports which painted a damning picture of elite cricket administration in Australia in the lead up to the ball-tampering incident in Cape Town.

Conducted by ethicist Simon Longstaff and former Test player Rick McCosker, the reports both argued that laying the blame solely at the feet of the three banned players would be a grave mistake.

Revered cricket writer Gideon Haigh conducted his own ‘cultural review’ of the incident and pointed to a number of failures in his new book Crossing The Line. He told The CEO Magazine that Cricket Australia had become disconnected with grassroots cricket and “their obsession is not with communities but with markets.”

Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne have also both recently opined that the bans were excessive.

Other current and former players, including Peter Siddle and Simon Katich, have publicly supported the bans.

Cricket Australia Chairman Dave Peever resigned after the damning review

The review found the national governing body was viewed as “arrogant and controlling” and that its elite players existed in a “gilded bubble”.

Yet Peever said he was not embarrassed by the report’s contents. “Not at all,” he said. “I’m…associated with something that is so important to Australia and that I feel very, very committed to.”

Ian Chappell was among those to bristle at Peever’s response. “Didn’t he say the buck stops with me?” Chappell asked on ABC TV’s 7.30 “I mean if the buck stopped with him, he’d be gone,”

By 1 November, Peever was indeed gone as it became clear he no longer had the support to stay in the role.

Australia begin the one-day international series under new captain as favourites but have slumped to sixth in the International Cricket Council rankings.