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Indian Cricket Board Bans Australians Mired in Ball-Tampering Row from IPL 2018

Steve Smith

Australian cricketers Steven Smith and David Warner, who have been mired in the ball-tampering scandal over the last week, were barred by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on March 28 from taking part in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The two players were also banned for one year by Cricket Australia after allegations of ball-tampering during a match against South Africa were found true.

“They (Cricket Australia) have banned two players and we are also barring these two players from this year’s IPL,” IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said, NDTV reported.

The announcement by the Indian cricket board followed the announcement by Cricket Australia about penalties imposed on Smith, who was the Australian captain, and Warner, the vice captain during the controversial match. Teammate Cameron Bancroft, who was caught on camera trying to alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper, was also suspended for nine months by Cricket Australia.

The BCCI statement said that the Supreme Court of India appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) took cognizance of the developments in the ball-tampering incident involving the three cricketers.

“We wanted everything in our own hands. First, we waited for ICC’s decision, after that Cricket Australia and then we decided on the matter,” Shukla added.

BCCI said that it hopes that the cricketers participating in the IPL hold the highest regard for the spirit of cricket and the code of conduct. “The concerned IPL franchises will be allowed replacement players,” it said.

Warner had earlier stepped down as the captain of the SunRisers Hyderabad franchise for the IPL 2018. Smith, on the other hand, was earlier replaced by Ajinkya Rahane as the captain of Rajasthan Royals after he stepped down from the position on March 26.

Smith is facing censure from the global cricketing community and has been penalized for the ball-tampering that took place under his watch during a Test match between South Africa and Australia on March 24.

The new captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad will be announced shortly, franchise chief executive K. Shanmugam said on the team’s Twitter page. Shikhar Dhawan is a possible candidate to assume charge.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland officially announced the decision against Smith, Warner and Bancroft on March 28. “All three players reported will depart South Africa tomorrow. The replacement players will fly to Johannesburg over the next 24 hours to join the squad for the fourth Test against South Africa,” a statement from Cricket Australia said.