Cricket Australia reaffirm commitment to reintegrate David Warner into national setup

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Banned Australia batsman David Warner.

Cricket Australia (CA) remain steadfast in their bid to reintegrate banned batsman David Warner despite the recent controversial interviews from Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft.

Warner, Smith and Bancroft were all handed bans by CA following their involvement in the ball-tampering saga that occurred during Australia’s tour of South Africa.

While Smith and Warner were handed one-year bans from international and domestic cricket, Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension.

Recently, both Smith and Bancroft have come out with interviews in which they had slightly attempted to deflect the blame for the infamous episode on to Warner’s shoulders.

In an interview with Fox Cricket, Smith had washed his hands off from taking complete blame for the saga and instead put down Warner as the chief instigator for the scandal. “I don’t want to know about it,” Smith had supposedly told Warner in his own words after the plan to tamper with the ball had been laid out by the former Aussie vice-captain.

Bancroft too, had laid greater part of the blame on Warner’s shoulders by suggesting that it was the deputy skipper who had directed him to tamper with the ball at Newlands.

Despite these recent revelations, CA are committed to reintroducing Warner into the Australia setup upon the completion of his ban in March next year.

Smith and Bancroft's interviews had put Warner in poor light.

Smith and Bancroft’s interviews had put Warner in poor light.

Upon being asked if the interviews would hamper plans to reintegrate Warner, CA chief executive Kevin Roberts told SEN Radio, “I don’t know that it does.”

“Our focus is to work with Dave (Warner), who I spoke to about three days ago on his integration plan. I think what is really important is that Dave, Steve and Cameron will really need sign to up to the players’ mantra that everything they do is really seeking to make Australians proud. Our non-negotiable expectation is that we compete with honour,” Roberts continued.

“The Cape Town incident happened nine months ago, the investigation was conducted, the sanctions were handed down, and our focus now is working towards the reintegration of the players. Our focus is on that reintegration and moving forward as to how we can support all of the players through that period.”

Warner has remained silent on his part since the interviews by Smith and Warner were aired.

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Australia's Steve Smith deemed eligible to participate in Bangladesh Premier League

Waseem Ahmed 27/12/2018
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Smith is now free to participate in the upcoming BPL edition.

Banned Australia batsman Steve Smith has been given the all clear to participate in the upcoming edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) despite initially running afoul of the league’s by-laws.

Smith was picked up as a late replacement for Sri Lanka’s Asela Gunaratne by Comilla Victorians but his signing had been opposed by the rest of the franchises in the league.

According to BPL rules, only players who were part of the initial draft can be picked as replacements by the franchises. With Smith not featuring in the initial draft pool, his capture had been protested by the remaining franchises for violating the by-laws.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had subsequently banned the Aussie star from playing in the upcoming edition. However, the board has now done a U-turn on the Australian at the behest of four other franchises in the league.

“We could not give him permission earlier as other franchises had protested his signing,” BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus stated.

Smith will be joined by Warner in the BPL 2019.

Smith will be joined by Warner in the BPL 2019.

“Today, four franchises emailed us separately saying that they have withdrawn their objections for the greater interest of the tournament,” he added.

The BCP spokesman also said that the league’s ruled had been amended to pave the way for Smith’s participation. The remaining franchises will now be allowed to sign one replacement player each from outside the initial draft pool.

With Smith now eligible to participate, the Australian is expected to join up with the Victorians squad ahead of January 5 when the BPL gets underway.

Smith will be joined by his fellow banned Australian batsman David Warner in the BPL with the left-hander set to captain Sylhet Sixers in the upcoming edition.

Both the batsmen continue to serve their one-year bans from international and domestic cricket meted out to them for their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal.

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Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane becomes leading wicket-taker in 2018-19 BBL

Sudhir Gupta 27/12/2018
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Another superb display from the Nepal sensation.

Leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane continued to fly the Nepal flag high in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) as he played a starring role in Melbourne Stars’ first win of the season.

Lamichhane picked up 2-18 from his four overs at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) as the Stars completed a five-wicket win over the Sydney Sixers.

The 18-year-old leggie trapped Moises Henriques and Tom Curran lbw in his four-over spell to help restrict the Sixers to 130-9 in their 20 overs.

In response, an explosive 35-ball 70 from Australia Test discard Peter Handscomb helped the Stars overhaul the target with considerable ease to break the franchise’s sequence of two losses.

Lamichhane, who has become the first player from his country to feature in the BBL, has been drawing tremendous support from Nepalese fans in every Australian ground he has played so far.

The two scalps picked up by the teenager on Thursday has now seen him climb to the top of wicket-taking charts in the 2018-19 edition of the BBL. The leg-spinner had picked up five wickets in the two earlier defeats suffered by the Stars with his overall tally now standing at seven.

It has been a sensational year for the leg-spin prodigy who earlier became the first Nepalese player to earn an IPL contract. After representing Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in the 2018 edition of the IPL, Lamichhane has gone on to undertake stints in the Global T20 Canada and Caribbean Premier League.

The Nepal sensation has also bagged a Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) contract with the Sylhet Sixers and is slated to undergo a maiden stint in the Pakistan Super League next year with the Lahore Qalandars.

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