No clarity on Smith, Warner central contracts

The central contracts of Steve Smith and David Warner could be up for renegotiation once "the sanctions are confirmed/agreed by the players after their hearing."

Cricket Australia, in April 2017, had announced a list of 33 centrally contracted male players including the former skipper Steve Smith (right) and vice-captain David Warner. The central contracts of these two players could be up for renegotiation.   -  Getty Images

Two days after Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were handed sanctions for their involvement in the ball-tampering episode, Sportstar has learnt that the central contracts of Smith and Warner could be up for renegotiation — new contracting period is due to commence in April — once "the sanctions are confirmed/agreed by the players after their hearing."

Cricket Australia, in April 2017, had announced a list of 33 centrally contracted male players including the former skipper Smith and vice-captain Warner.

Read: The Australia ball-tampering scandal: A timeline

It is also worth mentioning that Warner, who is now out of international cricket for 12 months and will never be an option for captaincy role, had been a leading voice for the players during last year's pay dispute, which saw both Warner and Smith — among others — being offered multi-year deals by CA's team performance manager Pat Howard. The deal, however, didn't come through.

Meanwhile, Sportstar understands that the ability for the three players to access training facilities during the length of their ouster will also be determined via the nature of their ban; which continue to be only 'proposed sanctions at this stage.'

Also read: Warner not ruling out retirement after ball-tampering scandal

Each player has a manager that they are working closely with and will determine what 'additional level of legal advice they need' going forward.

Meanwhile, a close confidant of now-banned cricketer Bancroft has told this publication that despite the public announcement of the sanctions, the players have only now received the 'formal charge' documents and it'll be a few days before they decide on the future course of their actions.

The source was also able to confirm that the rules around training facilities will most likely be determined in the coming week.

That said, Cricket Australia, in a statement released earlier this week, had said that "all three players will be permitted to play club cricket and will be encouraged to do so to maintain links with the cricket community", indicating that all hope is not lost for the trio.

Also read: Lehmann 'in no way involved' in ball tampering, reiterates Sutherland

Needless to say, the drama surrounding the 'Sandpaper Gate' has just started to unfold and it'll be a while before the dust settles on this latest controversy.