The Cricket Australia board will meet in the next few days to take a final call on a bid by the players’ association to lift the suspensions of Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, who were involved in the ball-tampering scandal earlier this year.
According to a report by The Sydney Morning Herald , the Cricket Australia directors have been ‘privately deliberating’ over ‘how best to revisit the bans’ given to the three players. The board does not want this to impact on ‘what is hoped to be a more productive relationship with the Australian Cricketers Association.’
READ: Rajasthan Royals retains Steve Smith
The report states that the the CA directors have several issues to discuss before determining whether to lift the bans immediately--allowing the three to return to international or domestic cricket-- or keep their suspensions.
Bancroft, who was banned for nine months, can return to first-class cricket on December 29, but Warner and Smith are not allowed back until March 29. This looks like a more complex issue than just endorsing or rejecting the submission put to CA by ACA bosses Al Nicholson and Greg Dyer, because an immediate lift could be unfair on Bancroft, who has served more time ‘proportionately than Warner and Smith.’
There are also remuneration issues, for Smith and Warner were not awarded state-based contracts because of their suspensions. The report claims that the ‘CA directors will also need to weigh up the public mood for a reduction in penalties, for no one wants the players to be jeered at grounds should they be seen to not have served their time.’ New CA chief executive Kevin Roberts initially indicated the bans would not be lifted. Both Warner and Smith, however, are playing in franchise-based leagues across the globe and were recently retained by their Indian Premier League franchises--Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals--for the next season.
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