Steve Smith, David Warner handed 12-month bans by Cricket Australia

By @saihoops on
Australia's tour of South Africa, Steve Smith, David Warner
Cricket - South Africa vs Australia - First Test Match - Kingsmead Stadium, Durban, South Africa - March 5, 2018. Australia's David Warner and Steve Smith leave the pitch after beating South Africa. Reuters / Rogan Ward

Australia captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have been handed 12-month bans from Cricket Australia for their roles in the pre-meditated plan to tamper with the ball in the recently concluded Cape Town Test against South Africa. Cameron Bancroft, assigned with the task of tampering with the cricket ball, has been banned for nine months from international and domestic cricket.

While Warner has been handed a lifetime ban from captaining Australia, Smith and Bancroft will be allowed to assume leadership positions after serving their one-year ban from all formats of the sport.

Although all three players will not be allowed to play domestic competitions such as the Sheffield Shield and the Big Bash League, CA has encouraged them to play club cricket and "maintain links with the cricket community." They are also "required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket."

All three players have also been axed from participation in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) and other lucrative Twenty20 competitions across the globe.

Steve Smith, David Warner can challenge verdicts

According to ESPNCricinfo, the trio is allowed to challenge the verdicts. "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."

The bans were first reported by veteran Australian cricket commentator Jim Maxwell late Wednesday. “I can tell you that I understand David Warner and Steve Smith will be getting a 12-month ban from the game in Australia. I don’t know how that affects them playing elsewhere in the world. They’ll miss out on the whole Australian season. I don’t know how that sits with getting them ready for the World Cup and the Ashes. Whether that puts them in contention completely," Maxwell told ABC Radio via News.com.au.

The 2019 Cricket World Cup gets underway on May 19, which should fit into Cricket Australia's plans of bringing back the three players, especially Smith and Warner, who are undoubtedly the country's two best batsmen.

While wicketkeeper Tim Paine will take charge as captain of the team for the fourth and final Test against South Africa starting Friday, Matt Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns have been called over to replace the departing Smith, Warner and Bancroft. Australia's tour of South Africa will conclude with the upcoming Johannesburg Test. Australia trail the series 2-1 after suffering a humiliating loss at Cape Town.