David Warner and Steve Smith. @ Getty Images
David Warner and Steve Smith. @ Getty Images

Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) had raised their voices to lift the bans on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft once the cultural review findings revealed that Cricket Australia’s own failures, and in particular, it’s ‘win at all costs’ attitude were responsible for the ball-tampering incident at Cape Town in March this year.

Former Australia coach John Buchanan believes the bans should remain if Cricket Australia (CA) or the International Cricket Council (ICC) “want to set benchmarks of standards and expected behaviour from its players”.

“No, CA was correct in the penalties handed down. The ICC need to revise their assessment of ball tampering to bring it into line with CA or make it even harsher,” Buchanan told Mumbai Mirror on Wednesday.

“The bans on all players must remain if the CA and the Australian Cricket team are to set benchmarks of standards and expected behaviours from its players. All personnel involved with Australian cricket (CA and ACA) must deliver on Integrity – do what you say you are going to do. The ethics reports have given Australian cricket some guidance on what this should be. It is up to administrators, coaches and players to deliver.”

ACA president Greg Dyer and ACA CEO Alistair Nicholson vowed not to end their fight until the bans were lifted.

“The ACA (players association) has demonstrated poor leadership throughout the ‘sandpaper’ crisis and have continued to demonstrate a distinct lack of understanding of the seriousness of what occurred in South Africa by continuing to demand the penalties imposed on Smith, Warner and Bancroft be reduced,” Buchanan said.

Asked where Australian cricket is headed to after the ball-tampering fiasco, he said: “CA has a golden opportunity for change and a quick change at that. I think the prospects for the future of Australian cricket are very bright, although in the short term there will still be some pain.”