Steven Smith (L) and David Warner © Getty Images
Steven Smith (L) and David Warner © Getty Images

Cricket Australia (CA) announced the much-awaited verdict following the ball-tampering fiasco involving Australia skipper Steven Smith, vice-captain David Warner, and  Cameron Bancroft. The controversy sparked during Day Three of the recently-concluded third Test against South Africa. In a press release from CA, Warner and Smith have been banned for a year and barred from captaincy for two years (each) from state and international cricket. Bancroft, perceived as a scapegoat in the entire chain of events, has been suspended for nine months. The trio can play grade cricket but not participate in any national board-affiliated league. All three players will also be required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket.

Minutes after the ban was imposed, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) also banned Smith and Warner from taking part in IPL 2018. Smith and Warner had earlier resigned as Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captains respectively. Let us have a quick look at where all can the trio — Smith, Warner and Bancroft — can still play.

Smith, Warner and Bancroft can play Premier cricket (Victorian Premier Cricket) but nothing at the national or state level (not even BBL). To understand in laymen’s language, they are still allowed to participate in any tournament not affiliated with Cricket Australia. For instance, they can play in the County Championship, BBL, CPL, PSL etc. However, the scenario can be worse if other cricketing boards also plan to bar their participation, just like IPL.

James Sutherland, CEO of Cricket Australia, stated…

“The sanctions we have announced are significant for the individuals involved. That is why the process has had to be thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined. I am satisfied that the sanctions in this case properly reflect a balance between the need to protect the integrity and reputation of the game and the need to maintain the possibility of redemption for the individuals involved, all of whom have learned difficult lessons through these events. As indicated, Cricket Australia will provide more details of an independent review into the conduct and culture of our Australian men’s team in due course.”