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CA bans Smith, Warner for year


REUTERS

CA bans Smith, Warner for year

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JOHANNESBURG – Sacked Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have both been banned for 12 months for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, Cricket Australia (CA) announced yesterday, after uncovering a web of lies told by the players after they were caught.

Opening batsman Cameron Bancroft was banned for nine months following the scandal, which has outraged the fans, jolted the sponsors and prompted CA to send the three players home from South Africa.

The trio will be allowed to compete in club cricket, but cannot take part in state or international games for the duration of their bans.

“David Warner will not be considered for team leadership positions in the future,” CA said in the statement, having fingered him in developing the plot.

Smith and Bancroft will have to wait two years before they are considered for leadership roles, and even then it will “be conditional on acceptance by fans and the public”, according to CA.

Each player must also complete 100 hours of community service before being considered for future selection, while it was confirmed that the cheating had been confined to the trio only, exonerating teammates and coach Darren Lehmann of any wrongdoing.

“This is a terrible situation. There are three guys going home that have been offered sanctions that are life-changing,” Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland told reporters yesterday.

A key finding was that Bancroft had in fact used sandpaper to rough up the ball in the third Test at Newlands, and not sticky tape as he stated, though Sutherland doubted that this showed the cheating had been planned prior to the match or the day’s play.

“I’m not sure it’s normal procedure, but I do understand that sandpaper is often in the dressing room or in the players’ kit bags,” he said.

Warner was also found guilty of “provision of advice to a junior player [Bancroft] regarding how a ball could be artificially altered, including demonstrating how it could be done”.

Part of the findings against Smith and Bancroft were that they had misled both the umpires on the field of play, and the public in a press conference as to the “the nature, extent and participants of the plan”.

While Smith and Bancroft were both found guilty of “knowledge” of the plan to cheat, a CA statement credits Warner with the “development” of the plot, suggesting he was the instigator. All three have the right to appeal their sentences.

Smith and Warner have also been withdrawn from their Indian Premier League (IPL) teams for 2018, representing a significant loss of income after the Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad had paid US$1.84 million respectively for their services.

There is more financial fallout possible, with multinational electronics company LG having already said it will not renew a sponsorship with Warner.(Reuters)

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