Infotainment Factory: CA warned of 'dangerous precedent' over bans

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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

CA warned of 'dangerous precedent' over bans


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Former South African captain Shaun Pollock says it would set a “dangerous precedent” if Cricket Australia changed its stance to allow suspended trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft to return to international cricket this summer.

Calls have intensified for the trio’s bans to be lifted, in the wake of a scathing report into cultural shortcomings at Cricket Australia, which found the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town was not an “aberration”, but the result of CA’s obsession with winning “without counting the cost.”

Bancroft is suspended until December, while Smith and Warner are sidelined until March 2019, unable to take part in international cricket, or domestic cricket in Australia. However, they are allowed to play in domestic competitions overseas.

The Australian Cricketers’ Association has said the bans should be lifted with immediate effect.

While Pollock was comfortable with the decision to allow the trio to play domestic cricket around the world, with Smith and Warner taking up a number of T20 opportunities overseas, he warned against relaxing the sanctions to permit a return to the national side.

“If you lift the ban early and they return to international cricket, then you’ll always have players looking for loopholes in any rulings in the future,” Pollock told Wide World of Sports.

“As far as international cricket is concerned, they need to see out the original ban.

“It would set a dangerous precedent for any future Cricket Australia rulings to allow them back into international cricket any earlier than the original ban specified.”

The former South African skipper defended CA’s decision to impose a hefty suspension, indicating it was a reflection of the high-regard cricket is held in by the Australian public.

Although he did point out that the bans were considered extremely heavy handed in other parts of the cricket playing world.

The difference in Australia, according to Pollock, is the part cricket plays in the culture’s mainstream.

“The reaction over here in South Africa was surprise at the length of the bans, but most people here wouldn’t have understood the pride and responsibility that goes with wearing the baggy green cap, and the high-esteem that Australian cricketers are held in,” Pollock said.

“I thought the suspensions reflected how Australia wanted the game played, and the damage that they felt was done by what happened in Cape Town.

“The ICC handed down a much lighter punishment, which would be seen as the norm for the rest of the world, and as a South African I was initially surprised that CA went further than the ICC, but once you understand what the sport means to Australia then you can understand the length of the ban.”

The prospect of Smith, Warner and Bancroft playing international cricket this summer has divided opinion, and Australia’s recent run of outs has caused a heightening of the speculation.

“I'd love to see them back in the game but Cricket Australia has made their stance,” batsman Chris Lynn said.

“If we're winning games of cricket for Australia then I don't think we're talking about this right now.

“But the fact we haven't put the wins on the board, there's a bit of panic stations going on.”

Former South African captain Shaun Pollock says it would set a “dangerous precedent” if Cricket Australia changed its stance to allow suspended trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft to return to international cricket this summer.

Calls have intensified for the trio’s bans to be lifted, in the wake of a scathing report into cultural shortcomings at Cricket Australia, which found the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town was not an “aberration”, but the result of CA’s obsession with winning “without counting the cost.”

Bancroft is suspended until December, while Smith and Warner are sidelined until March 2019, unable to take part in international cricket, or domestic cricket in Australia. However, they are allowed to play in domestic competitions overseas.

The Australian Cricketers’ Association has said the bans should be lifted with immediate effect.

While Pollock was comfortable with the decision to allow the trio to play domestic cricket around the world, with Smith and Warner taking up a number of T20 opportunities overseas, he warned against relaxing the sanctions to permit a return to the national side.

“If you lift the ban early and they return to international cricket, then you’ll always have players looking for loopholes in any rulings in the future,” Pollock told Wide World of Sports.

“As far as international cricket is concerned, they need to see out the original ban.

“It would set a dangerous precedent for any future Cricket Australia rulings to allow them back into international cricket any earlier than the original ban specified.”

The former South African skipper defended CA’s decision to impose a hefty suspension, indicating it was a reflection of the high-regard cricket is held in by the Australian public.

Although he did point out that the bans were considered extremely heavy handed in other parts of the cricket playing world.

The difference in Australia, according to Pollock, is the part cricket plays in the culture’s mainstream.

“The reaction over here in South Africa was surprise at the length of the bans, but most people here wouldn’t have understood the pride and responsibility that goes with wearing the baggy green cap, and the high-esteem that Australian cricketers are held in,” Pollock said.

“I thought the suspensions reflected how Australia wanted the game played, and the damage that they felt was done by what happened in Cape Town.

“The ICC handed down a much lighter punishment, which would be seen as the norm for the rest of the world, and as a South African I was initially surprised that CA went further than the ICC, but once you understand what the sport means to Australia then you can understand the length of the ban.”

The prospect of Smith, Warner and Bancroft playing international cricket this summer has divided opinion, and Australia’s recent run of outs has caused a heightening of the speculation.

“I'd love to see them back in the game but Cricket Australia has made their stance,” batsman Chris Lynn said.

“If we're winning games of cricket for Australia then I don't think we're talking about this right now.

“But the fact we haven't put the wins on the board, there's a bit of panic stations going on.”

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