Smith, Warner, Bancroft: let them play, says Australian Cricketers Association


ESPNcricinfo– The Australian Cricketers Association has reiterated its call for the bans of Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft to be lifted in the light of the findings of the cultural reviews into Australian cricket.

The Longstaff review said the events of Newlands were not a one-off and were caused by the pervading culture of Cricket Australia which the players association called “hugely significant.”

Smith and Warner are currently serving a one-year ban while Bancroft was sanctioned for nine months for the ball-tampering scandal in March.

“What the Longstaff Review reveals is that Cricket Australia itself must also take a share of responsibility for what happened in South Africa,” Greg Dyer, the ACA president, said. “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.”

A Cricket Australia spokesperson said: “We have seen the Australian Cricketers’ Association press conference 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.”

Speaking in the wake of the publication of the reviews, CA chairman David Peever said there was no chance of the punishments being rescinded.

“Sanctions were carried out and imposed by the board after a very full and thoughtful process. So the sanctions stand,” Peever said.

On Tuesday, the new CA CEO Kevin Roberts also indicated there would be no early route back for the trio, citing the appeals path that was open to the players when the sanctions were handed down.

“There’s no provision to review the sanctions,” Roberts told 116SEN. “There’s an appeals mechanism which was available to the players before the sanctions were finalized. I really empathise with each of the three players and have chatted with them in recent weeks. They are experiencing a challenging time. They made a serious mistake. I’m getting as many people saying to me the sanctions are too harsh as those who say they aren’t harsh enough. We want to keep supporting the players.”


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