ACA believes banned trio harshly treated

The Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) have acknowledged that Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have made mistakes in the ball-tampering scandal but has questioned the severity of the punishments dished out.

Smith and Warner were each given one-year bans while Bancroft was suspended for nine months for admitting that they used sandpapper on a cricket ball in a Test match.

Bancroft and Smith were also banned from captaincy positions in Australian cricket for a further 12 months after the end of their ban, while Warner was banned from any leadership position for life.

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The ACA has questioned whether the sanctions was befitting of the offence and the process followed by Cricket Australia when making their findings.

The Players’ body made the following the points in a statement:

* The grading and sanctions proposed are considerably higher than the ICC’s grading and sanctions.

* The disproportion between the proposed sanctions and those previously handed down in world cricket for ‘changing the condition of the ball’ – including by Captains of international teams applying artificial substances

* The activation of CA’s Board as a deliberative body on the proposed sanctions

* That public statements by CA to date have not referenced consideration of contextual factors including the environment in South Africa during the series and the impacts on individual players

* The rush to place players before the world’s media last Saturday night without the benefit of considered and coherent advice

All three players will have a chance to challenge the verdicts with the ACA saying they will provide all three players with support.