Ball tampering row: David Warner, Steve Smith deserve another opportunity, says Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland

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New Delhi | Published: May 2, 2018 1:36:33 PM

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, on Tuesday, said that the banned trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft can make a comeback to the Australian cricket team.

David (Warner) was very focused on being a better cricketer, being a better leader, being a better person and he worked very hard on those things. (Source: AP)

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, on Tuesday, said that the banned trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft can make a comeback to the Australian cricket team. Sutherland, while speaking to Melbourne radio station SEN, said that just like everyone else, they too deserve another chance. “Each of them have to go about that during the time they’re out of the game and prove that their worthy (and) prove to the Australian selectors that they should want them back. They deserve that opportunity. I feel for all three players. I feel forgiveness for all of them. I feel sympathy for them and I want to see them all comeback and play their best cricket. I believe they all can,” he said.

Cricket Australia on Tuesday also announced a separate imminent review into the culture of Australian cricket to look into the scandal and examine how they can prevent it in future. The decision was taken Warner, former skipper Steve Smith and Bancroft received lengthy punishment after admitting that they tampered the ball in a Test against South Africa.

Amid a weepy press conference after coming back to Australia, Warner yielded that he may never be chosen for Australia again. However, Sutherland offered some hope for the 31-year-old, who has scored 21 centuries in 74 Tests, with the CA boss announcing the prohibited trio “deserves their chance and their own personal redemption story”.

Both Smith and Warner were suspended for a year – but unlike Smith, Warner cannot assume a leadership position in the Australian team. Cricket Australia’s internal investigation, concerning the ball tampering embarrassment, found that Warner was the chief instigator of the plot and trained Bancroft to complete the arrangement.

Furthermore, he added, “David (Warner) was very focused on being a better cricketer, being a better leader, being a better person and he worked very hard on those things. There were certainly good signals in that regard. You’ve only got to go to the end of our season in Australia before the team went to South Africa where he captained the team (in) a successful tri-series T20 competition to victory,”

He Concluded the interview saying, “Part of the design within the sanctions was to allow them to stay connected with the game. I also see part of our role is to support them with their state associations and their clubs, to help them stay hungry and come back and play their best cricket.”

Skipper Smith and his vice-captain Warner were stripped of their positions and prohibited for a year ban by Cricket Australia in the third test against South Africa where Warner was seen using the sandpaper to tamper with the ball, while Bancroft got only a nine-month ban.

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