Sport Cricket Big Bash League McConnie rules out Smith, Warner from BBL matches

McConnie rules out Smith, Warner from BBL matches

Steve Smith, in March, will not be allowed to play in the BBL. Photo: Getty
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Big Bash League boss Kim McConnie has ruled out any prospect of banned stars Steve Smith and David Warner being allowed to play during the 2018-19 season amid calls for the pair’s punishments to be reconsidered.

The disgraced ex-Australian captain and vice-captain are barred from playing in the BBL as part of their 12-month bans for their roles in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Both were able to play in the inaugural Global T20 Canada tournament as the Cricket Australia (CA) sanctions do not apply to club cricket overseas.

CA insists there is no chance the sanctions will be softened but there has been a backlash among current and ex-players who believe the punishment is too harsh.

David Warner enjoys a laugh in the Canadian T20 competition. Photo: Getty

Former Australian allrounder Shane Watson, who has branded the penalties as “extreme”, has called on CA to allow Smith and Warner to play in the BBL.

McConnie says that won’t happen and there won’t be any formal promotional roles for the pair.

“Both players have done a really good job and accepted the ruling from Cricket Australia, and they won’t be appearing in the BBL this season,” McConnie told AAP.

“I think every player who plays cricket, we love to think that they talk about the Big Bash and promote the tournament.

“But beyond being cricket players themselves that have a love of the format, there’ll be no formal relationship.”

Smith’s return to cricket was allowed due to it being a club competition. Photo: Getty

Watson last month questioned the logic of Australia’s two most high-profile players helping boost another country’s competition.

“The thing that just disappoints me about the whole situation is now Steve Smith and Dave Warner are over promoting other tournaments by playing in them,” Watson said.

“I understand the rulings … but for them to have the opportunity to go and promote other tournaments, I’d prefer if they’re going to do that and have access to do that (that) they have access to promote the Big Bash, for example.

“At the moment we’ve got a few world-class players … but they don’t just fall out of trees.

“That’s why Steve and Dave are such an integral part to Australian cricket, especially in the shorter format.”

The 2018-19 BBL schedule will be unveiled on Wednesday.

“We’ve got so many heroes within our current league, and what we’re going to be focusing on this season is really making sure that we bring some of those younger players that we’re developing in our own system,” McConnie said.

“So we’re going to have some star power but it’s also about promoting the generation coming through the T20 format as well.”

-AAP