Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts on Wednesday (November 7) 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.
“The ACA submission around the players’ sanctions was received by the board a few days ago,” Roberts told reporters.
“It was addressed to the board rather than to me or all management. So not for me to comment on a board matter other than to say that the board will be respecting that submission and giving it due consideration,” he added.
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.
Roberts, who was at the centre of an acrimonious pay dispute with players last year, said repairing relations with the players’ union remained a top priority.
“I think what’s really important is that we at Cricket Australia need to embrace the players and we need to make sure that the players feel a really valued part of Cricket Australia,” Kevin Roberts said.
“There’s no doubt that we need to face up to the review and the fact that it acknowledged that the organisation hasn’t been united enough across the playing and long-playing sides,” he concluded.
(With Reuters inputs)