The Australia Cricket Association (ACA) has called for the ban on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft to be lifted after an independent ethics review blamed Cricket Australia’s ‘culture’ for the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town.
“Given that CA's system and culture were contributing factors, the ACA Executive calls for the lifting of penalties on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft imposed by the Board. My message to Cricket Australia: these contrite men have been punished enough. Let these contrite men play,” ACA president and former Australian cricketer Greg Dyer said in a statement.
The independent review by the Sydney-based Ethics Centre of the ball-tampering scandal accused Cricket Australia (CA)of having an "arrogant" and "controlling" culture that led to players cheating in pursuit of victory. It also accused the cricket board of paying lip service to the spirit of the game, leaving players without any moral guidance.
"The Responsibility for that larger picture lies with CA and not just the players held directly responsible for the appalling incident at Newlands," said the review, which was released on Monday.
ACA-CA Stand-off to intensify
The latest statement, however, is all set to intensify the stand-off between Australia’s cricket board and the Cricketer’s Association. Earlier, Cricket Australia chairman David Peever said the sanctions handed out to Warner, Smith and Bancroft in the aftermath of the ball tampering incident that unfurled in the Newlands Test would not be lifted.
A spokesman for Cricket Australia said they expected a dialogue with the ACA once an official submission was made and they were open to engaging with the ACA in a positive manner.
"We have seen the ACA statement and note they will be making a submission to the CA Board in the next 48 hours," the CA spokesman said.
Sandpaper Gate - the Ball-tampering saga
The Newlands Test between South Africa and Australia at Cape Town earlier in 2018 was overshadowed by the ball-tampering scandal in which Bancroft was caught on camera trying to scuff the ball with a yellow sandpaper. The scandal, dubbed as ‘Sandpaper Gate’, resulted in Smith and Warner being banned for a year by Cricket Australia while Bancroft received a ban of nine months.