All eyes have switched to David Warner after fellow cricketers Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft confirmed they will accept all sanctions handed to them over the ball-tampering scandal.
With the deadline looming on Thursday, former Australia captain Smith was the first to accept his fate when he confirmed he wouldn’t challenge Cricket Australia’s 12-month ban for breaching their code of conduct in South Africa.
“I would give anything to have this behind me and be back representing my country,” he posted on Twitter on Wednesday.
“But I meant what I said about taking full responsibility as captain of the team. I won’t be challenging the sanctions.
“They’ve been imposed by CA to send a strong message and I have accepted them.”
I would give anything to have this behind me and be back representing my country. But I meant what I said about taking full responsibility as Captain of the team. I won’t be challenging the sanctions. They’ve been imposed by CA to send a strong message and I have accepted them.
— Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) April 4, 2018
Bancroft followed his axed captain’s lead hours later after it’s understood his management spent the day clarifying details of his punishment and nine-month suspension.
“Today I lodged the paperwork with Cricket Australia and will be accepting the sanction handed down,” the 25-year-old wrote.
“I would love to put this behind me and will do whatever it takes to earn back the trust of the Australian public. Thank you to all those who have sent messages of support”
Today I lodged the paperwork with Cricket Australia and will be accepting the sanction handed down. I would love to put this behind me and will do whatever it takes to earn back the trust of the Australian public. Thank you to all those who have sent messages of support
— Cameron Bancroft (@cbancroft4) April 4, 2018
Their decisions leave Warner as the last to confirm his stance but it’s long been believed he was the most likely to challenge the sanctions after he was accused of being the ringleader in the affair.
The 31-year-old dodged questions at his media conference on Saturday and later confirmed that was due to him taking advice on the process.
The CA’s code of conduct says all three players could take until the day before the possible April 11 hearings to advise whether they will challenge the charges.
However, it’s understood the players and CA want the issue resolved as quickly as possible and administrators have therefore requested Thursday’s early entries.
Smith’s tweet fell in line with his emotional media conference on return last week to Sydney, in which he admitted he’d “made a serious error of judgement”.
That appearance shifted the majority of the public view in favour of the 28-year-old, who was also stripped of the captaincy for failing to stop Bancroft using sandpaper to tamper with the ball on day three of the third Test against South Africa.
It’s now likely he will return to the Australian side with his image largely intact despite the reality he will head into next year’s World Cup and away Ashes without an Australian domestic game under his belt this summer.
There is a chance Smith might play county cricket in England as it’s understood CA wouldn’t stand in his or any other player’s way.
His Sydney club, Sutherland, have confirmed they will continue to support him, as CA had encouraged all three players to return to grade cricket next summer.
Smith’s punishment, along with Bancroft’s, also involved a two-year ban on him holding a leadership position in the Australian team and 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket.
Both also received the support of Australian Cricketers Association president Greg Dyer, who on Wednesday reaffirmed his backing of the players regardless of their response.
Further details surrounding CA’s independent review are also expected to be revealed later this week, with the scope expected to reach far beyond the team.