The 'comedy of errors' behind 'heavy-handed' WBBL ban

Australian Associated Press

Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Alistair Nicholson has criticised the severity of the ban handed to WBBL player Emily Smith.

Cricket Australia imposed a one-year ban on the Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper, with nine months suspended, for posting a team line-up on Instagram about an hour before its official release.

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In a statement on Monday evening, CA said Smith had accepted the sanction for breaching Article 2.3.2 of the anti-corruption code which prohibits disclosing inside information to any person.

Pictured on the right, Hurricanes wicketkeeper Emily Smith breached cricket's anti-corruption code.
Emily Smith breached rules by posting the team list an hour before it was supposed to go public. Pic: AAP

Smith will be unable to participate in any form of cricket for at least three months, ruling the 24-year-old out of the rest of this season's WBBL and WNCL competitions.

The incident occurred on November 2 with the Hurricanes scheduled to play Sydney Thunder - although the match in Burnie was washed out without a ball being bowled.

"The context is important, it's really a comedy of errors," Nicholson told SEN.

"Officials are supposed to take away the players' phones.

"You had a game here where there was rain-delay, and it was on ice, so the player had their phone when the system shouldn't have let her have it.

Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper Emily Smith's ban has come under heavy criticism.
Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper Emily Smith has been banned for 12 months, with nine suspended. Pic: Getty

"It's heavy-handed but the reality is she was in a position she shouldn't have been in.

"From our point of view, whilst corruption and integrity is very important and Emily has accepted the sanction - it should have been fully suspended."

Nicholson said the extensive ban has thrown Victoria-born Smith's life upside down.

"It's certainly been a real shock for her, it's a scenario that she wasn't expecting and she's basically probably going to have to move her life back to Victoria. That's a real change," he said.