Steve Smith, David Warner, Cricket Australia headed for legal war

By @saihoops on
Steve Smith, Steve Smith banned
Axed Australian cricket captain Steve Smith is escorted by Police officers as he leaves the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa March 28, 2018. Reuters / Siphiwe Sibeko

Sacked Australian captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are reportedly preparing to challenge the suspensions handed by Cricket Australia (CA) over the ball tampering fiasco. On Wednesday, the CA handed 12-month bans to Smith and Warner, and a six-month ban on Bancroft.

According to Australian cricket insider Peter Lalor, Smith and Warner have already sought legal representation to appeal CA's sanctions. “The trio can appeal against the finding and the sentence, The Australian understands that Smith and Warner have already consulted lawyers in preparation. The trio were told the news in the team hotel just after breakfast this morning. Smith looked resigned to his fate as he left for the meeting and later emerged to tell his team mates who were still at breakfast. They were all grim faced as he told them," Lalor told The Herald Sun.

ESPNCricinfo explained that the hearing would need an independent commissioner. "All players will have the right to challenge the verdicts and also the duration of their penalties via a CA code of behaviour hearing with an independent commissioner, who can also choose whether the hearing is public or private. Players at the hearing are permitted to call as many witnesses as they like and also to have legal representation."

Steve Smith banned: Australian star to challenge CA verdict

Cricket Australia’s code of conduct states: “If the player disputes either the charge or sanctions, there is a hearing before a CA Commissioner. The player may appeal the outcome of that hearing, and if so there is a hearing before an Appeals Commissioner (who is selected from the remaining CA Commissioners).”

Revealed as the mastermind who drew up a plan to tamper with the cricket ball in the just-concluded Cape Town Test against South Africa, Warner has been handed a lifetime ban from captaining Australia. Smith and Bancroft, on the other hand, will be allowed to assume leadership positions after serving their one-year ban.

With the 2019 Cricket World Cup getting underway on May 19, 2019, Cricket Australia will ideally want all three players back for the sport's showpiece event in England.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine will reportedly captain the Australian team for the fourth and final Test against South Africa starting Friday. Matt Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns have already reached South Africa as replacements for the dismissed trio of Smith, Warner and Bancroft.