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Smith & Warner handed 12-month bans by Cricket Australia

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

Steve Smith and David Warner have been banned by Cricket Australia for a year for their involvement in the  ball tampering scandal, which, it has been confirmed, involved the use of sandpaper to rough up the ball.

Cameron Bancroft, the perpetrator who said he had used tape as part of the plot, was given a nine-month ban.

David Warner has also been banned for life from any team leadership positions such as captain or vice-captain. For Smith and Bancroft, this ban will apply for a period of two years, “conditional on acceptance by fans and the public, form and authority among the playing group.”

All three players will also be required to do 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket, and, though the bans cover all international and domestic cricket, will be encouraged to play club cricket “to maintain links with the cricket community”.

The list of offences given by the board attempted to expose Warner as the principal actor in the episode, responsible for devising the plan, involving and tutoring Bancroft and then hiding his involvement. Smith, CA said, knew of but didn’t prevent the plan and also directed the attempted on-field cover-up. Bancroft, it said, lied about the methods used even in the post-match press conference.

CA chairman David Peever said: “As I indicated yesterday, the CA Board understands and shares the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about these events.

“They go to the integrity and reputation of Australian cricket and Australian sport and the penalties must reflect that.

“These are significant penalties for professional players and the board does not impose them lightly. It is hoped that following a period of suspension, the players will be able to return to playing the game they love and eventually rebuild their careers.”

Cricket Australia CEO  James Sutherland said: “As the chairman has noted, the sanctions we have announced are significant for the individuals involved. That is why the process has had to be thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined.

Warner drew the most severe condemnation by Cricket Australia

“I am satisfied that the sanctions in this case properly reflect a balance between the need to protect the integrity and reputation of the game and the need to maintain the possibility of redemption for the individuals involved, all of whom have learned difficult lessons through these events.

“As indicated, Cricket Australia will provide more details of an independent review into the conduct and culture of our Australian men’s team in due course.”

The charge sheets

Steve Smith

(a) knowledge of a potential plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;
(b) failure to take steps to seek to prevent the development and implementation of that plan;
(c) directing that evidence of attempted tampering be concealed on the field of play;
(d) seeking to mislead Match Officials and others regarding Bancroft’s attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball; and
(e) misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent and participants of the plan

Sandpaper was used to scuff up the ball, CA confirmed

David Warner

(a) development of a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;
(b) instruction to a junior player to carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper;
(c) provision of advice to a junior player regarding how a ball could be artificially altered including demonstrating how it could be done;
(d) failure to take steps to seek to prevent the development and/or implementation of the plan;
(e) failure to report his knowledge of the plan at any time prior to or during the match;
(f) misleading Match Officials through the concealment of his knowledge of and involvement in the plan; and
(g) failure to voluntarily report his knowledge of the plan after the match

Cameron Bancroft

(a) knowledge of the existence of, and being party to, the plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper;
(b) carrying out instructions to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball;
(c) seeking to conceal evidence of his attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball;
(d) seeking to mislead Match Officials and others regarding his attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball; and
(e) misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent, implementation and participants of the plan

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