Steven Smith and David Warner’s 12-month ban from playing international and domestic cricket is likely to be upheld after New South Wales (NSW), their home association, said that the bans were “heavy but proportionate to the public’s disappointment” and that the board supports the “strong stance” taken by Cricket Australia.
“Cricket NSW supports the strong stance taken by Cricket Australia,” incoming NSW chairman John Knox said after the submission of their annual report. “Australia’s millions of passionate fans expect that their national team not only plays good, competitive cricket but plays it in the right spirit. Our players represent all of us on the world stage. However, having been dealt harsh penalties and shown true remorse for their mistakes, it is important that the NSW cricket family supports Steve and David through these tough times and welcomes them back when they return. We are all human.
“During the season, cricket throughout Australia and across the world was shocked by the ball-tampering incident in South Africa. This was particularly upsetting for Cricket NSW with two of our finest players, national captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, subsequently suspended by the Cricket Australia Board for 12 months.
There were murmurs that NSW would try to get Smith and Warner play in the Sheffield Shield but Andrew Jones, the continuing chief executive, ruled that out.
“The 12-month bans handed to Steve and David were heavy but proportionate to the public’s disappointment,” Jones said. “Cricket Australia should be commended for its principled stance on a challenging issue. That said, it was obvious from their press conferences that Steve and David truly regret the incident.
“They have accepted their punishment and are working hard to restore public faith in themselves and the game. It is important that the NSW cricket family supports Steve and David through this difficult time. We look forward to welcoming them both back onto the cricket field when NSW Premier Cricket begins in late September.”