ACA want a reduction on bans for ball-tampering trio

The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) has called the bans handed out to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft “disproportionate” and has asked the board (CA) for a reduction in the sanctions.

Former captain Smith and Warner were each given one-year suspensions while Bancroft was banned for nine months for their part in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket on tour in South Africa.

ACA president Greg Dyer wants the players to at least be available for domestic cricket when it resumes in the Australian summer.

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Dyer said: “Changing the condition of the ball is a key element of the charge, it’s against the code of cricket and there is no place for it.

“What is in the spirit of the game is clearly important and relevant, and so Cricket Australia’s motivation is correct.

“(But) the informed conclusion is that as right as the motivation is, the proposed penalties are disproportionate relative to precedent.

“The ACA asks Cricket Australia, in its final deliberation, to consider all of these factors.

“We ask that consideration be given to re-calibrating the proposed sanctions, to consider options such as suspending or reducing part of the sanctions.

“To consider, for example, to allow the players to return to domestic cricket earlier and as an important part of their rehabilitation.”

Smith was only banned for one Test and fined 100 per cent of his match fee by the ICC while Bancroft was fined 75 per cent and given no suspension by the governing body.

The ACA will offer support to the trio if they decide to challenge the severity of the sanctions imposed.

Dyer continued: “I think their decisions are imminent, but I am not able to share them with you. That’s a deeply personal decision for the players.

“I don’t want to guide them in any way through this process, though we are supporting them.”