Smith, Warner set to miss India series, IPL depends on NOC contents
(Eds: Updating with inputs from BCCI, CA, comments from former players)
New Delhi, Mar 27 (PTI) The disgraced Australian duo of Steve Smith and David Warner is not just staring at an ouster from IPL but is also also facing the prospect of missing the India series later this year, as speculations over a length ban for ball tampering gained credence.
Cricket Australia is all set to announce the sanctions by early morning (IST) tomorrow and there is a possibility that both Smith and Warner could be out of international cricket for a considerable period of time.
If it's a one-year ban, which looks likely, the home series against India in (December-January) will be played without the two superstars. Already young opener Matt Renshaw has flown to Johannesburg, indicating that Warner will also not be a part of the final Test match against South Africa.
Another bone of contention is their Indian Premier League contracts with Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderbad. There is every possibility that Smith may seek time out of cricket to sort out the mess he is currently in but the same can't be said about Warner, who is one of the greatest T20 exponents of all time.
While the BCCI is awaiting sanctions from Cricket Australia, the key to the decision will be the contents of the No Objection Certificates (NOC) issued by their home board.
"What a lot of media channels are not understanding is that BCCI at this point has no right to terminate their contract. In case Cricket Australia has a clause in their contracts that gives them right to cancel the duo's NOC for private leagues based on disrepute caused during international matches, then BCCI won't even come into question.
"They won't get a chance to play IPL," a senior BCCI official, who deals with contract aspect told PTI today.
"If CA's ban is exclusive of NoC given to them for IPL, they will be available for the league," said the official.
However, reports emerging from Australian media primarily implicated Warner in the scandal.
According to Sydney Morning Herald: "David Warner's international career is said to have become "untenable" with fears the one-time vice-captain has gone rogue as the fallout from the ball tampering crisis escalated on Tuesday. Teammates are furious with Warner over suspicions the batsman was the source behind a story incriminating Australia's fast bowlers."
The newspaper claimed that Warner may have played his last game for the country.
It was learnt that the temperamental Warner removed himself from the team WhatsApp group.
Australia's Fairfax Media claimed: "Warner had emerged as the central character in the affair, with suggestions he was the primary figure behind the ill-fated decision for Cameron Bancroft to use a piece of yellow tape to try and alter the condition of the ball during the third Test."
It has been learnt that senior fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood along with veteran spinner Nathan Lyon have all distanced themselves from skipper Smith for his comments that the ball tampering plan, on the third day of the third Test in Cape Town, was hatched by the leadership group.
Former Australia captain Steve Waugh today expressed his disappointment but urged everyone to have a balanced perspective about what he termed as an "error of judgement".
A focused and balanced perspective is needed in the condemnation on those involved in this, with a clear and critical consideration to the social impact and mental health of all players," Waugh wrote on his official Facebook page, which was also uploaded by Cricket Australia.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull added that authorities needed to crack down on sledging -- verbal abuse involving players on both sides -- if it wanted cricket to "once again (be) held up as a role model".
"I think there has to be the strongest action taken against this practice of sledging," he told reporters in Canberra. "It has got right out of control ... it should have no place (in cricket)."
Meanwhile former South African fast bowler Fanie De Villiers told Australian radio station RSN927 that he had tipped off the camera crew that caught Cameron Bancroft rubbing the ball with a piece of yellow tape which the batsman then tried to conceal.
"We actually said to our cameramen: 'Go out. Have a look, boys. They are using something.' It's impossible for the ball to get altered like that on a cricket wicket where we knew there is a grass covering on. It's not a Pakistani wicket where there are cracks every centimetre.
"I said earlier that if they could get reverse swing in the 26th, 27th, 28th over, then they are doing something different from what everyone else does."
Former England captain Michael Vaughan, known to get under the skin of the Australians, claimed that they had tampered with ball during Ashes also.
"I can't believe that this hasn't happened before," Vaughan told the BBC. "I look at the amount of tape some of the fielders have worn, particularly during the Ashes series, mid-on, mid-off. (You) don't have to name names but they know who they are.
"I'm pretty sure that it was going on during the Ashes series. But it wasn't the reason why England lost 4-0. They still would have lost that series