(Photo: Getty Images)
By Adam Ellis
Cricket Australia have banned Steve Smith and David Warner for 12 months as punishment for their roles in the ball-tampering saga to rock their tour of South Africa.
Batsman Cameron Bancroft will also be suspended from selection for a total of nine months, while Australia head coach Darren Lehmann evades any sanction.
Captain Smith and vice-captain Warner were stood down from their leadership roles in the wake of the third Test at Newlands which witnessed Bancroft claim he had applied dirt from the rough of the wicket to the ball using sticky tape in order to encourage reverse swing.
However, Cricket Australia’s investigation has confirmed that rather than sticky tape and dirt, sandpaper was instead used.
The Cricket Australia board, as well as former Test players Mark Taylor and Michael Kasprowicz, convened for two-and-a-half hours on Wednesday to determine the sanctions imposed on the guilty trio.
In addition to their bans, 28-year-old Smith will not be able to captain the national side for at least two years and all three players have been ordered to undertake 100 hours of voluntary work ‘within the cricket community’.
Smith and Warner will be eligible to return to the national set-up in time for the 2019 Ashes series and the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
The actions taken by the duo has already lightened their pockets as the BCCI confirmed that both Smith and Warner will not play in this year’s IPL for Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, respectively – two franchises who the two players would have captained in the T20 mega-event.
This follows the worldwide condemnation from the likes of the Australian Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull, Adam Gilchrist, Michael Vaughan, Dale Steyn and Michael Clarke.
Cricket Australia’s sanctions represent the most significant bans handed to an international cricketer in Test history and comes at a time when the national governing body is fielding multi-million dollar bids from broadcast companies for television rights.
Note the inquiry findings on Warner. He is being blamed as instigator of this business. pic.twitter.com/LpAOHbaLMC
— Peter Lalor (@plalor) March 28, 2018