Australian Cricketers’ Association: ‘Contrite’ banned trio should be free to play

ACA will relentlessly lobby for Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft to have their bans reduced or overturned, says association president Greg Dyer.

Steve Smith (left) and David Warner were captain and vice-captain, respectively, during the ball-tampering crisis.   -  AP

Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) president Greg Dyer again called for bans imposed on the “contrite” Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft to be lifted as they have “been punished enough.”

Smith and Warner were suspended from international and domestic cricket for 12 months and Bancroft was given a nine-month ban for their part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

An independent organisational review, which was released on Monday, deemed that Cricket Australia (CA) was partly to blame for the events during the third Test against South Africa in March.

Read: Ball tampering report slams 'arrogant' Cricket Australia culture

Dyer says the ACA will not stop lobbying for the banned trio to have their sanctions overturned. “What the Longstaff Review reveals is that Cricket Australia itself must also take a share of responsibility for what happened in South Africa,” said Dyer.

System failure

“Yes, this moment of madness was ‘individual’ but now there is evidence and independent verification of system failure as well. This is hugely significant. With this new information common sense, common decency, basic fairness, proportionality and natural justice demand that the punishment is reduced. The players have already lost time in the game, chances to play for Australia, endured public humiliation and faced massive financial penalties.

“My message to Cricket Australia is a simple one: These contrite men have been punished enough. Let these contrite men play. I add that the ACA will be relentless in pursuing this end. Finally, I also offer a message to the Australian public on behalf of the ACA. In short, Australia’s cricket players ‘get it’. We assure you. The players ‘get it’’. The players understand.”