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Smith, Warner, Bancroft have been punished enough, let them play: ACA president

A day after the Longstaff review that squared some of the blame for the Newlands incident on the win-without-counting-costs environment created by Cricket Australia, president of the Australian Cricketers’ Association Greg Dyer has called for the bans against the trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft to be lifted.

The trio was found guilty of tampering the ball in the Test match against South Africa in March and was subsequently handed lengthy bans. While the captain and his deputy were hit with 12-month suspensions, Bancroft was banned for nine months from playing any international and domestic cricket.

In a 13-point reaction to the developments in regards to the review, an official release from the ACA said: “Given there is now independent verification that CA’s system and culture were contributing factors, the ACA Executive calls for the lifting of the Board imposed penalties on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.”

“My message to Cricket Australia is a simple one: these contrite men have been punished enough. Let these contrite men play,” Dyer said.”I add that the ACA will be relentless in pursuing this end.”

It will take some relentlessness as Cricket Australia chairman David Peever stated in no uncertain terms on Monday that there will be no reconsideration of the bans imposed, stating that they were punishments meted out ‘after a very full and thoughtful process.’

“What the Longstaff Review reveals is that Cricket Australia itself must also take a share of responsibility for what happened in South Africa. Yes, this moment of madness was ‘individual’ but now there is evidence and independent verification of system failure as well. This is hugely significant,” Dyer added.

Dyer went on to stress that the trio has already atoned for their mistakes enough, suffering financial losses, chance to represent the country and a very public humiliation.

“With this new information common sense, common decency, basic fairness, proportionality and natural justice demand that the punishment is reduced. The players have already lost time in the game, chances to play for Australia, endured public humiliation and faced massive financial penalties.

Cricket Australia now expects a dialogue with the ACA, once an official submission for cutting the bans short is made by the players’ association.

“We have seen the Australian Cricketers’ Association (statement) and note they will be making a submission to the CA Board in the next 48 hours,” a CA spokesman said. “We look forward to engaging directly with the ACA in a positive and constructive manner in the best interests of the game.”

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