Australian Test cheats decide not to appeal against bans

Australia's Steve Smith: Accepted ban.
Australia's Steve Smith: Accepted ban.
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FORMER Australia captain Steve Smith and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft will not be appealing against their bans from the game.

Smith was banned for 12 months along with vice-captain David Warner for their part in ball-tampering during the recent Test series in South Africa.

Bancroft was banned for nine months following a Cricket Australia investigation which revealed he had used sandpaper to try to alter the condition of the ball during the third Test in Cape Town.

There had been reports of a possible appeal by the players against the bans, but both Smith and Bancroft said on Twitter they will not seek to have the sanctions reduced.

Smith wrote on Twitter: “I would give anything to have this behind me and be back representing my country.

“But I meant what I said about taking full responsibility as Captain of the team.

“I won’t be challenging the sanctions. They’ve been imposed by CA to send a strong message and I have accepted them.”

Bancroft tweeted: “Today I lodged the paperwork with Cricket Australia and will be accepting the sanction handed down.”

The Australian Cricketers’ Association had called on CA to reconsider the sanctions imposed on the players, saying they did not follow precedent for the type of offence.

ACA president Greg Dyer said: “Of the dozen or so matters of this type, the most severe suspension to date has been a ban for two one-day internationals. The most expensive fine has been 100 per cent of a match fee. The informed conclusion is that as right as the motivation is, the proposed penalties are disproportionate relative to precedent.”

Dyer said the contrition shown by the players should be taken into account and “their distressed faces has sent a message across the world as effective as any sanctions could be.”

He added: “I think Australia cried with Steve Smith last Thursday, I certainly did.

“We ask for this extraordinary contrition to be taken into account by Cricket Australia just as it would be in any fair and proper process.”

Dyer said the trio were “rushed” to respond after the incident in Cape Town, saying he believed it was “unfair”, and laid out suggestions of how the players’ sanctions could be reduced.

“We ask that consideration be given to recalibrating the proposed sanctions, to consider options such as suspending or reducing part of the sanction,” he said.

“To consider, for example, allowing the players to return to domestic cricket earlier and as a part of their rehabilitation.”

Warner has yet to comment on whether he will challenge his ban.