'Blatantly cheated': Aussie great wants ball-tampering bans upheld

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Amid growing calls for Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft to be immediately reinstated, one Australian Test great has gone the other way.

Monday’s scathing review, commissioned after the ball-tampering furore, highlighted CA’s “arrogant” culture and noted “responsibility for that larger picture lies with CA and not just the players held directly responsible for the appalling incident at Newlands”.

In light of the findings, ACA boss Greg Dyer on Tuesday called for the banned trio to be given a reprieve, stating they had suffered enough.

However according to Simon Katich, that would send the wrong message.

“I think the players should see out their bans,” he told SEN Radio.

Umpires confront Cameron Bancroft after the incident. (Photo by Peter Heeger/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Umpires confront Cameron Bancroft after the incident. (Photo by Peter Heeger/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

“They admitted what they did was wrong, and they blatantly cheated.

“I just don’t think shortening the bans is going to do anyone any good.

“I think the public will be disappointed to think they could get away with what they did just because of what this (Ethics Centre culture) review has found.

“They have to be responsible for their actions, regardless of what is going on in the background with the administrators and the culture that’s been created.

“The players still have to put their hand up – which they have – and cop the bans on the chin and do their time.

Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft address the media after the scandal broke. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft address the media after the scandal broke. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

“They’ll earn a lot more respect that way than if the ban gets shortened … because, realistically, if the bans get shortened it’s like the review said – it’s a win-at-all costs mentality.

“From a welfare point of view, it would be important they can come back and play the game they love and they have done it tough.

“But what they did, as grown men … they knew they couldn’t take sandpaper out there (on the field) otherwise why were they trying to hide it down their pants?”

Fellow retired Test player Andrew Symonds expressed similar sentiments.

“It wouldn’t really bother me if they did [lift the bans]. But the penalty has been dealt and they probably have to serve it,” Symonds said on the Back Page.

Simon Katich in 2010. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Simon Katich in 2010. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

“They’ve been dealt a harsh penalty and rightfully so. Is a bit of panic setting in there because we’re getting old and do we need our best players back in the team?

“Arguably yes, but the punishment has to be served I think.”

What everyone else is saying

“Let these contrite men play … common sense, common decency, basic fairness, proportionality and natural justice demand that the punishment is reduced,” – players’ union chairman Greg Dyer.

“The sanctions were imposed by the board after a very full and thoughtful process and so the sanctions stand, as I said several weeks ago,” – Cricket Australia chairman David Peever.

“I don’t think the punishment fitted the crime. A 12-month ban that equated to about an $8-10 million fine. I thought they were very, very, very hard done by and it was a very harsh penalty,” – spin king Shane Warne

“The biggest ban that had ever been imposed before that for ball tampering was like two matches. These guys got a year. I don’t agree with it … they are our two best batsmen and as a consequence we’re getting beaten every time we start. I don’t like that,” – former chairman of selectors Rod Marsh

“I’d love them to be available for domestic cricket but that’s not my decision,” – former coach Darren Lehmann

“We’d love to see the guys back playing as soon as possible. That’s not really our decision,” – national vice-captain Josh Hazlewood

“They could be having a really positive impact on the domestic game and I would love to see that happen … they could be having a great influence on our game and young batters,” – former ODI captain George Bailey

with AAP

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