Sandpaper Gate: 'Bans to stay', Cricket Australia denies reports of relaxation in bans
Cricket Australia have refused to soften their stance on the respective bans of David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft. The trio were banned by the board in the aftermath of the 'Sandpaper Gate' ball tampering incident in Cape Town, South Africa.
There were widespread reports that the board was contemplating relaxation in the bans with the 2019 ODI Cricket World Cup in sight. The speculations added that the duo of Warner and Smith might be allowed to play in the domestic games to keep them ready for the World Cup and the Ashes next year.
The reports, though, were outright rejected by a CA official who said that the board hasn't had a discussion and the matter and at no point did they think about softening the bans as there is no provision of a reversal or relaxation of a ban in the CA Code of conduct if the players have accepted the charges.
"At no stage have we, or are we considering lessening the current sanctions in place for respective players in relation to the incident in South Africa," a CA spokesperson told cricket.com.au.
"The CA Code of Conduct does not allow for reversal or lessening of sanctions once players have fully accepted the charges.
"The current articles published are purely speculative."
Now that the board has clarified the situation, the duo of Warner and Smith, who are currently playing in the Global T20 Canada, will not be returning for the Sheffield Shield, Australia's domestic first class-tournament. Bancroft, though, will have served his ban by the end of this year and will be available for selection.
The three players involved in the incident, Warner, Smith and Bancroft, had accepted the ball-tampering charges back in March and were then banned from international and domestic cricket by CA. While the two seniors were slammed a one-year ban each, Bancroft was banned for six months.