Sydney - Former
captain Steve Smith said on Wednesday he desperately wants to play for
Australia again but will not be challenging a 12-month ban for a
ball-tampering scandal that rocked cricket.
Cricket Australia last week suspended Smith and David Warner from all
international and domestic cricket for a year, while opening batsman
Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months for the incident during
the third Test in South Africa.
All three players have admitted what they did was wrong and a wave of
sympathy has been growing for Smith since his public apology, during
which he broke down in tears.
The trio have until Thursday to tell Cricket Australia whether they
accept their punishment or will opt for a hearing, as is their right.
Warner and Bancroft have yet to comment but Smith, a golden boy who
is compared to Donald Bradman for his batting exploits, took to social
media to make clear he would do his time.
"I would give anything to have this behind me and be back
representing my country," he tweeted, in his first comments since the
emotional press conference on his return to Australia last Thursday.
"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."
Smith - the world's number one Test batsman - was charged with
knowledge of the potential ball-altering plan, while Warner was charged
with developing the plot and instructing Bancroft to carry it out.
Since the scandal erupted, Smith has lost a lucrative Indian Premier League contract and has been dumped by sponsors.
The Australian Cricketers' Association on Tuesday called for the bans
to be reduced, arguing the punishment was disproportionate to previous
ACA president Greg Dyer pointed to the separate International Cricket
Council sanction, which suspended Smith for one Test and docked him his
He also said the contrition expressed by players has been
"extraordinary" and should be taken into account, urging a relaxation to
allow the men to return to domestic action sooner.
With the World Cup and an Ashes series in 2019, supporters of the
players believe they need to be playing state cricket to be in the type
of form that could warrant selection.
— Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) April 4, 2018