Brisbane: Steve Smith and David Warner will not be available for Australia’s upcoming Test series against India after the year-long ball-tampering bans on them were upheld by Cricket Australia on Tuesday after a review.
In recent days, owing in no small measure to the Australian team’s poor on-field performances, there was a clamour for the bans to be reduced, which might have made them available for the four-Test series against India starting 6 December in Adelaide. It would have allowed the two players, as well as batsman Cameron Bancroft, who was given a nine-month ban, to return to competitive cricket earlier than stipulated.
“The Cricket Australia Board has carefully considered all elements of the ACA submission and has determined that it is not appropriate to make any changes to the sanctions handed down to the three players,” interim chairman Earl Eddings said in a statement. The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) even made a submission favouring a reduction in the bans, to which Cricket Australia responded in negative.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association asked for a rethink on the suspension of the trio following the Longstaff review. The ACA said that the review provided new and compelling evidence that CA – and not just the players involved – contributed to the atmosphere that prompted the events of the Cape Town Test in March. With India set to play Australia in a long series, including four- Tests and considering the hosts’ recent run of losses, there were prompt calls to bring back Smith and Warner before the contests against the visitors.
The series gets underway with the first T20 International here on Wednesday. Smith and Warner are eight months into their one-year bans, while Bancroft will be eligible to return in December. The trio was banned for their role in the ball tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket in March.