David Warner, Steve Smith, bans end, duo “Paid Price”: Australian Cricket Chief

As the year-long ban came to an end of Australian cricketers Steve Smith and David Warner, the duo are now free to play state and international level cricket again, said the Australian cricket chief Kevin Roberts.

They were serving one-year suspension handed by Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering scandal. The cricket chief said that the duo has “paid a price and served their time”.

In Cape Town last year, Warner was widely seen as the instigator of the plot during the third Test to use sandpaper to alter the ball, with rookie opener Cameron Bancroft carrying it out and Smith turning a blind eye.

Following the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australia cricket, Smith and Warner were banned for a year from international cricket for orchestrating the event, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.

The “Sandpaper-gate” scandal triggered far-reaching consequences for Australian cricket. Smith, Warner, and Bancroft had all “owned their mistakes, they’ve paid a price and have served their time,” added the chief.

All the top brass from Cricket Australia and the then-coach Darren Lehmann quit left after a scathing review said their “arrogant and controlling” win-at-all-costs culture was partly to blame for players bending the rules.