Smith‚ Bancroft won't appeal‚ but Warner might

04 April 2018 - 11:42 By Telford Vice
Australia's captain Steve Smith speaking during a press conference in Cape Town, on March 24, 2018 as he admitted to ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa.
Australia's captain Steve Smith speaking during a press conference in Cape Town, on March 24, 2018 as he admitted to ball-tampering during the third Test against South Africa.
Image: STR / AFP TV / AFP

Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft will not appeal their punishment for being involved in the ball-tampering plot that rocked Australia’s tour to South Africa‚ but David Warner has yet to say whether he will mount a challenge.

“I would give anything to have this behind me and be back representing my country‚” former Australia captain Smith wrote on his Twitter account on Wednesday.

“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 [Cricket Australia] to send a strong message and I have accepted them.”

Bancroft followed his captain’s lead‚ also tweeting on Wednesday: “Today I lodged the paperwork with Cricket Australia and will be accepting the sanction handed down.

“I would love to put this behind me and will do whatever it takes to earn back the trust of the Australian public.

“Thank you to all those who have sent messages of support.”

Smith and Bancroft admitted to being party to a plan to scuff the ball during the third Test at Newlands.

They said sticking tape loaded with sand taken from the pitch had been used‚ but a CA investigation found that the foreign agent was sandpaper.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) fined Smith his entire match fee and suspended him for a Test‚ but CA took the matter much more seriously — banning him for a year and preventing him from regaining a leadership position in the national team for a year after that.

Bancroft was fined 75% of his match fee and given three demerit points by the ICC‚ one short of a suspension.

CA banned him for nine months imposed the same condition as Smith’s on him being elevated to the leadership.

Warner‚ the former Australia vice-captain who is believed to be the mastermind behind the plot‚ escaped punishment by the ICC.

But CA banned him for a year and have barred him from leadership positions for the rest of his career.

Warner has until Thursday to say whether he will appeal. Hearings‚ if required‚ will happen next Wednesday.

All three players sought legal advice‚ and reports from Australia say Warner is likely to mount a defence.

The saga derailed Australia’s bid to keep alive their record of not having lost a Test series in South Africa since 1970.

The series went to Newlands level at 1-1‚ and CA sent Smith‚ Bancroft and Warner home after the game‚ which South Africa won by 322 runs.

Darren Lehmann said before the fourth Test at the Wanderers that the match would be his last as Australia’s coach.

South Africa won by 492 runs to complete a 3-1 series triumph.

The Wanderers result is South Africa’s biggest win in terms of runs and the fourth-biggest in Test history.

It’s also Australia’s second-heaviest defeat and their biggest hiding since England beat them by 675 runs in Brisbane in 1928 — 90 years ago.

South Africa won eight of the 10 home Tests they played this summer‚ which included a series win over India.

They’ve earned a break‚ and they will get it what with their next engagement — for those not involved in the Indian Premier League‚ which starts on Saturday and ends on May 27 — still three months away.

South Africa will arrive in Sri Lanka on July 4 to play two Tests‚ five one-day internationals and a T20.

Sri Lanka tour itinerary:

July 12-16: 1st Test‚ Galle

July 20-24: 2nd Test‚ Colombo

July 29: 1st ODI‚ Dambulla

August 1: 2nd ODI‚ Dambulla (d/n)

August 5: 3rd ODI‚ Kandy

August 8: 4th ODI‚ Kandy (d/n)

August 12: 5th ODI‚ Colombo (d/n)

August 14: T20‚ Colombo (d/n)

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