Sachin Tendulkar backs ball-tampering suspensions but Shane Warne disagrees

Sudhir Gupta 28/03/2018
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India legend Sachin Tendulkar gave his support to Cricket Australia’s decision to suspend Steve Smith and David Warner from top-level cricket for a year over the ball-tampering scandal.

A statement from CA said Smith and Warner had been suspended from “all international and domestic cricket” while opening batsman Cameron Bancroft has been banned for nine months over the ball-tampering incident during the third Test in South Africa.

Tendulkar took to Twitter on Wednesday to say the right decision was made, stating: “Cricket has been known as a gentleman’s game. It’s a game that I believe should be played in the purest form. Whatever has happened is unfortunate but the right decision has been taken to uphold the integrity of the game. Winning is important but the way you win is more important.”

However, former leg-spinner Shane Warne believes the Australia ball-tampering scandal has been blown out of proportion and the punishments handed to Smith, Warner and Bancroft are excessive.

Warne, who was handed a one-year suspension in 2003 after testing positive for a banned substance, says the reaction to the incident has gone over the top.

“To hear that the Australian cricket team had been involved in pre-mediated cheating is something that is embarrassing. There is no way you can condone it,” he said on his Facebook page.

“We are all so hurt and angry and maybe we weren’t so sure how to react. We’d just never seen it before.

“But the jump to hysteria is something that has elevated the offence beyond what they actually did, and maybe we’re at a point where the punishment just might not fit the crime.

“The hysteria has gone world wide, and everyone that dislikes the way the Australian cricket team has played, and over the past five or so years there have been rumblings about the way this team has gone about things, have been given the opportunity to lay the boots in. Their actions were indefensible, and they need to be severely punished. But I don’t think a one year ban is the answer.”

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Financial implication of Australia batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner's suspensions

David Cooper 28/03/2018
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Former Australia captain Steve Smith and opener David Warner have both been handed one-year bans for their part in the ball-tampering crisis which has engulfed the nation’s Test team, with Cameron Bancroft given a nine-month suspension.

Here we take a look at what the financial implications are likely to be for Smith and Warner.

WAGES

Smith and vice-captain Warner were among the high earners players in the squad with wages – including bonuses – of around Australian $2 million (Dh5.6m) each.

In the wake of the fall-out from the scandal, Warner also stepped down from his role as skipper of Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad, whom he helped take to a first title in 2016. Both players had contracts worth Australian $2.4m dollars (Dh6.7m), with Smith retained by Rajasthan Royals for the 2018 campaign. However, following confirmation of Cricket Australia’s stance, the IPL confirmed both men would be banned “with immediate effect from participation” in the Twenty20 tournament this year.

SPONSORS

Income from endorsement deals is also likely to start to dry up. One of Warner’s commercial partners LG confirmed “in light of recent events” that the electronics company would not be renewing their partnership, which was coming towards the end of the current deal. A spokesperson for Toyota Australia, meanwhile, revealed the car manufacturer was “aware of Cricket Australia’s decision” adding “we are working with David Warner and his management team regarding this situation.”

Aged 28 and the top-ranked Test batsman in the world, Smith was very much a marketable asset before the events in South Africa. The former Australia captain had long fronted Weet-Bix television commercials, while also being a global ambassador for sportswear giant New Balance. However, images of Smith have been removed from the website of the breakfast cereal, and it remains to be seen how the fallout will impact his other personal financial relationships. Cricket Australia’s leading sponsors Magellan, a fund management group, and travel partner Qantas both having also expressed dismay at the events surrounding the team.

BROADCAST DEAL

Cricket Australia is close to renegotiating its broadcast rights. According to reports, the board was expecting a bid of around AUS$ 1 billion (Dh2.8b) for the broadcast rights. However, due to market conditions and the ongoing scandal a bid of around AUS $700 million (Dh1.9b) seems more realistic.

“It’s hard to put a dollar figure as to how much this particular issue will cause losses for Cricket Australia,” sports management lecturer at Deakin University was quoted as saying by ABC. “They are not going to get that [$1 billion], and I think it’s probably going to be closer to the $600-700 million mark.”

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How Twitter reacted to Cricket Australia bans of Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft

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Steven Smith and David Warner have been handed one-year bans by Cricket Australia after their involvement in the ball-tampering controversy during the Newlands Test against South Africa.

Cameron Bancroft, 25, was handed a nine-month ban for his actions in scratching the ball with sandpaper.

And as CA announced its decision and the trio learnt of their fate, cricket stars and experts had a mixed reaction to the suspension.

Below we take a look at some of the tweets:

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