Earlier this month, Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts hinted that the ball-tampering bans on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft could be lifted immediately as the governing body is considering the demand by players’ union.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association push to lift the bans had come after an independent review by the Sydney-based Ethics Centre accused CA of only paying lip service to the spirit of the game and not doing anything for the moral guidance of players.
However, former Australian captain Ian Chappell feels that issuing severe bans on Smith and Warner was the right thing to do in the wake of the scandal and the sanction should not be reduced.
"Well I thought at the time, that the punishment for Smith and Warner in particular, I thought it did them a favour. The fact that they would not be playing in the Test series against India in Australia, I thought was probably a good thing for them because I think there would have been antagonising from the Australian public, not all of them but some of them. I don't think that would have done the players any good in their rehabilitation or the team any good," Chappell told ESPNCricinfo.
"I think some of the other people [administrators] should have been banned at the same time with Warner, Smith and Bancroft," he added.
Chappell further elaborated as why he wants the tainted cricketers to serve their time.
"Do I think that some of the bans should have been reduced. No, I don't think they should, because of the things that came out of the long staff review was that they felt the attitude was to win and don't count the cost. If they would have brought Smith, Warner and Bancroft back into the team against India, then they would say 'here we go again', don't count the cost let's just make sure we win. So I think let the bans be as they are," he concluded.
Australian cricket was shaken to the core after cameras had caught Bancroft using a sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa in March.
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.