Australian cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will serve out their full suspensions after Cricket Australia (CA) rejected an appeal on the length of their bans.
“The Cricket Australia Board has carefully considered all elements of the ACA (Australian Cricketers Association) submission and has determined that it is not appropriate to make any changes to the sanctions handed down to the three players,” CA Interim Chair Earl Eddings said in a statement.
“The original decision of the Board to sanction the players was determined after rigorous discussion and consideration.
“CA maintains that both the length and nature of the sanctions remain an appropriate response in light of the considerable impact on the reputation of Australian cricket, here and abroad,” the statement continued.
The board’s decision was unanimous.
— Wide World of Sports (@wwos) November 20, 2018
Reviews critical of Australian cricket culture gave the trio hope for an early return
The three players were banned for their role in an infamous ball-tampering incident in Cape Town, South Africa.
The bans were handed down in March 2018, with Warner and Smith outed for a year and Bancroft for nine months.
After a recent damning review into the culture of Australian cricket in the lead-up to the incident, there was a school of thought that the trio’s bans should be reduced because there had been widespread cultural problems that extended far beyond what happened on the field that day.
The report concluded CA was perceived to be “arrogant and controlling” and had resorted to “bullying tactics or worse” on occasions when things didn’t go its way.
Revered cricket writer Gideon Haigh also conducted his own review and painted a scathing portrait of the administration in his book Crossing the Line.
— ABC Grandstand (@abcgrandstand) November 20, 2018
Players’ union: Smith, Warner and Bancroft have been “punished enough”
In the wake of the report, elder statesmen such as Rod Marsh, Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne had been among those calling for the trio to return early.
That groundswell of support has now been shut down, however, and Bancroft will have to wait until 29 December to play with Smith and Warner not eligible until 29 March next year.
The Australian Cricketers Association had argued the players had “already been punished enough”.
CA thanked the players’ association for its submissions on behalf of the players but said the matter was now closed.
Smith (Rajasthan Royals) and Warner (Hyderabad Sunrisers) both lost lucrative IPL contracts after being banned, each worth A$2.5 million. Both have returned to grade cricket in Sydney.
The test team has struggled in the absence of its two best batsmen in Smith and Warner and will face an uphill battle against India and Sri Lanka later this summer without the pair and with an unsettled top and middle order.
Before the tests, Australia’s T20 side will face India in a three-match series beginning on 21 November.
Header image credit: NAPARAZZI