The Australian Cricketers’ Association has called for the immediate lifting of the bans currently being served by Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft for their role in the ball-tampering scandal.
ACA’s further push to lift the bans came after an independent review by the Sydney-based Ethics Centre accused Cricket Australia of only paying lip service to the spirit of the game and not doing anything for the moral guidance of players. ACA president, Greg Dyer, said the CA board had “the power and moral obligation” to lift the bans.
“Yes, this moment of madness but now there is evidence and independent verification of system failure as well. We believe this is hugely significant,” Dyer quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“With this new information, common sense, common decency, basic fairness, proportionality, which we’ve talked about from the outset, and natural justice demand that the punishment is reduced,” he added.
Dyer said this “new evidence” should have an impact on the convicted trio’s suspensions and given the sanctions were handed down without knowledge of the wider picture, they should be recalibrated.
“The players have already lost time in the game, chances to play for Australia, endured public humiliation and face massive financial penalties,” Dyer said. “They are contrite. They have been punished enough. Let them play. They are remorseful and get the need for change.”
Dyer said the ACA would be “relentless” in its efforts to have the bans lifted.
"I add that the ACA will be relentless in pursuing this end," he concluded.
On Monday, CA Chairman David Peever had maintained that the sanctions issued on tainted players were absolutely appropriate and they will have to serve their time.
"There was a full investigation, and that was the outcome. The sanctions were carried out and imposed by the board after a very full and thoughtful process. And so the sanctions stand, as I said several weeks ago," Peever had said.
Australian cricket was shaken to the core after cameras had caught Cameron Bancroft using a sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa earlier this year.
In a shocking press conference after the day's play, former Australia skipper Smith had admitted that the entire ball-tampering saga was a deliberate plan from the “leadership group” of the side. Subsequently, Cricket Australia had banned Smith and his deputy Warner for 12 months while Bancroft was handed a 9-month suspension from international cricket.