Disgraced former Australia captain Steve Smith on Wednesday said he is not going to challenge the heavy sanctions imposed on him and two of his teammates by the Australian cricket board over the ball-tampering scandal. (Also Read: David Warner is seriously struggling, not in a great headspace, says wife Candice)
Smith, the top-ranked batsman in Test cricket, was one of three players banned by Cricket Australia after TV cameras picked up evidence of Cameron Bancroft using sandpaper to roughen one side of the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town last month. (Also Read: Ball-tampering Scandal: Steve Smith's autobiography found in crime section, price slashed to $2)
Smith and vice-captain David Warner, found to be the instigator of a plot to tamper with the ball, were suspended from 12 months. Bancroft was banned for nine months. All three players have been allowed time to consider appealing the sanctions, which far outweigh penalties imposed by the International Cricket Council for ball tampering.
Smith's response came on Twitter following the players' union's appeal to Cricket Australia to reduce the length of the bans.
"I would give anything to have this behind me and be back representing my country. But I meant what I said about taking full responsibility as Captain of the team. I won’t be challenging the sanctions. They’ve been imposed by CA to send a strong message and I have accepted them," Smith tweeted.
I would give anything to have this behind me and be back representing my country. But I meant what I said about taking full responsibility as Captain of the team. I won’t be challenging the sanctions. They’ve been imposed by CA to send a strong message and I have accepted them.— Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) April 4, 2018
In addition to their 12-month playing suspensions, Smith was barred from the captaincy for a further year while Warner won't again be considered for a leadership position. (Also Read: After watching Smith and Bancroft cry, Darren Lehmann quits as Australia coach)
The players' union asked Cricket Australia to take into account "extraordinary contrition" shown by Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft over the ball-tampering scandal and suggested that the length of their bans be reduced.