An independent review by a leading ethicist said the governing body put too much pressure on the players to win at all costs. “The events in South Africa were in part a by-product of a culture and system which, amongst other things, placed too much pressure on players to win,” said ACA President Greg Dyer, a former Test wicketkeeper.
“Basic fairness demands these independently verified contributing factors must now be taken into consideration and the penalties reduced. “There must be a reconsideration of the harshness of the penalties handed down to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.”
The scandal involved the three players conspiring to use sandpaper to illegally alter the flight of the ball in the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Then-captain Smith and his deputy Warner received a one-year ban from international and state cricket while opening batsman Bancroft was suspended for nine months.
Calls have been growing for Smith and Warner — who recently padded up in club cricket in Australia — to return to the international fold after a string of poor performances by the national team.