David Warner’s manager James Erskine on Monday said his client, former captain Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft were ‘treated despicably’ by Cricket Australia while they investigated the 2018 ball-tampering episode. Erskine said they did not deserve the punishment — a one-year ban for Smith and Warner and a nine-month suspension for Bancroft — for their role in the scandal during the Cape Town Test against South Africa.

“The report that was done, they (CA) didn’t interview all the players. The whole thing was so badly handled, it was a joke. But eventually, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, will come out, and I know the whole truth,” Erskine was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.

“But it doesn’t serve any purpose because the Australian public over a period of time got to dislike the Australian team because they didn’t behave particularly well.”

The ball-tampering fiasco in South Africa had led to a review of Australia’s win-at-all-cost team culture, besides the ban on the three players.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Smith, Warner and Bancroft were treated despicably. The fact of the matter is they did the wrong thing but the punishment didn’t fit the crime. I think if one or two of those players had taken legal action they would have won because of what the truth was,” Erskine added.

Erskine’s reaction came after Bancroft’s recent statement on the infamous episode has once again brought the ball-tampering issue under the spotlight.

During an interview, Bancroft had hinted that bowlers might have known about the plot that made him and two others — Smith and Warner — pay a huge price.

CA has stated that it was open to re-investigation into the whole episode.