Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have all received bans for their involvement in the disgraceful ball-tampering incident in South African Test cricket play that sent shock waves reverberating throughout the cricket world.
Steve Smith and Warner are banned for 12 months, with the 13 months of appeals soon to begin. Bancroft copped only nine months, receiving leniency because of his rookie status, perhaps, or maybe out of compassion that his rookie’s salary will not be enough to sustain him for an entire year.
We have since learned that the plot involved sandpaper; not tape, as had been widely reported earlier.
How did this most recent development and news make its way to us?
Via Twitter leak, of course.
Australian writers in South Africa were the source, with Cricket Australia supplying confirmation as soon as their hand was forced.
We soon hope to know what grit of sandpaper Bancroft used. We do know that there are several convenient locations of the Home Depot around Cape Town, but it is possible that the Aussies had the sandpaper with them when they arrived for the four Test matches.
Warner has been fingered as the instigator and he will never again be eligible to serve as a Captain for Australia.
“These are significant penalties for professional players and the (Cricket Australia) Board does not impose them lightly,” Cricket Australia chairman David Peever said in a statement.
All three must consider themselves fortunate that the ban was not of the lifetime variety, but it is yet early.
“It is hoped that following a period of suspension, the players will be able to return to playing the game they love and eventually rebuild their careers,” Peever said.
Not all that likely, is it? If any of the three ever touches a ball again, the scrutiny will be so intense that the three will feel like ants in the sun under a magnifying glass on a hot day in Brisbane.
The effect of the ban is that all three will be prohibited from playing at the state or country level, or the BBL, but they will be able to play club cricket, if any club sanctions are not forthcoming.