Australian duo Steve Smith and David Warner are unlikely to get any relief from their 12-month ban from playing international and domestic cricket. Their home association New South Wales (NSW) made it clear that bans were “heavy but proportionate to the public’s disappointment”. New South Wales also made it clear that they support the “strong stance” taken by Cricket Australia.
Smith and Warner along Cameron Bancroft are currently serving bans for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March this year.
In the wake of the scandal, Cricket Australia had slapped lengthy bans on the trio. While Smith and Warner received one-year ban each, Bancroft was docked with a nine-month suspension. Smith also had to give up his captaincy. The trio was banned from playing international and first-class cricket for their states.
“Cricket NSW supports the strong stance taken by Cricket Australia,” incoming NSW chairman John Knox said after the submission of their annual report. “Australia’s millions of passionate fans expect that their national team not only plays good, competitive cricket but plays it in the right spirit. Our players represent all of us on the world stage. However, having been dealt harsh penalties and shown true remorse for their mistakes, it is important that the NSW cricket family supports Steve and David through these tough times and welcomes them back when they return. We are all human.
“During the season, cricket throughout Australia and across the world was shocked by the ball-tampering incident in South Africa. This was particularly upsetting for Cricket NSW with two of our finest players, national captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, subsequently suspended by the Cricket Australia Board for 12 months.
This comes after rumours suggesting that NSW would try to get Smith and Warner play in the Sheffield Shield.
Andrew Jones, the continuing chief executive, further made it clear that the duo will not play.
“The 12-month bans handed to Steve and David were heavy but proportionate to the public’s disappointment,” Jones said. “Cricket Australia should be commended for its principled stance on a challenging issue. That said, it was obvious from their press conferences that Steve and David truly regret the incident.
“They have accepted their punishment and are working hard to restore public faith in themselves and the game. It is important that the NSW cricket family supports Steve and David through this difficult time. We look forward to welcoming them both back onto the cricket field when NSW Premier Cricket begins in late September.”
Meanwhile, CA had allowed the forbidden trio to play grade cricket. As a result, Smith, and Warner made their return to field through the inaugural Global T20 Canada league. The duo also played in the Caribbean Premier League. Bancroft, on the other hand, made his return through the NT Strike League in Darwin.