Players’ union says ball-tampering bans too harsh

SYDNEY (AP) The players’ union has 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.

Smith and Warner received bans of 12 months each and Bancroft nine months after the ball-tampering incident during the third test between Australia and South Africa at Cape Town on March 24.

”I think Australia cried with Steve Smith last Thursday. I know I certainly did,” Australian Cricketers’ Association president Greg Dyer said Tuesday. ”We ask for this extraordinary contrition to be taken into account by Cricket Australia just as it would be in any fair and proper process.”

”Their distressed faces have sent a message across the world as effective as any sanction could be. The contrition shown by these men is extraordinary, absolutely extraordinary.”

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.

Dyer did not indicate whether the players would appeal their sanctions, only saying they were still considering their options.

In the meantime, Dyer says consideration should be given to reducing the bans.

”Of the dozen or so matters of this type, the most severe suspension to date has been a ban for two one-day internationals,” Dyer said. ”The informed conclusion is that, as right as the motivation is, the proposed penalties are disproportionate relative to precedent.

”We ask consideration be given to recalibrating the proposed sanctions, to consider options such as suspending or reducing part of the sanction, to considering allowing players to return to domestic cricket earlier as an important part of their rehabilitation.”