ACA push to get banned trio back on the field

The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) said the bans on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft should be reduced in the wake of the review into the ball-tampering scandal.

An independent review, released on Monday, said Cricket Australia (CA) put too much pressure on the players to win at all costs and that led to the players attempting to change the condition of the ball in a Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March.

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Smith and Warner were subsequently banned for one year while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.

The ACA painted the three Test players as victims of circumstance and said they should be free to take the field again at the top level.

ACA president Greg Dyer said: “The events in South Africa were in part a by-product of a culture and system which, amongst other things, placed too much pressure on players to win.

“Basic fairness demands these independently verified contributing factors must now be taken into consideration and the penalties reduced.

“There must be a reconsideration of the harshness of the penalties handed down to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.”

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CA said they have seen the statement put out by ACA but will await receipt of a formal submission from the players union.

A CA spokesman said on Tuesday: “We have seen the Australian Cricketers’ Association (statement) and note they will be making a submission to the CA Board in the next 48 hours,”

“We look forward to engaging directly with the ACA in a positive and constructive manner in the best interests of the game.”

The three players were offered an opportunity to challenge the severity of the sanctions in the aftermath of them being imposed, but all three opted to accept the penalties as outlined.