Cricket Australia's Smith ban labelled ‘dumbest thing ever’
COLUMNIST Neil Breen has slammed Cricket Australia's decision to ban Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper Emily Smith for posting the team list on her Instagram account.
Smith was handed a nine month suspension from all forms of cricket after uploading the starting XI before the toss of this November's washed-out clash against the Sydney Thunder in Burnie.
Cricket Australia said Smith had accepted the sanction for breaching Article 2.3.2 of the anti-corruption code.
The 24-year-old's ban is the same length as that of men's Test cricketer Cameron Bancroft for the infamous ball-tampering incident in Cape Town last year.
Breen berated the decision on Sports Sunday, labelling the ban "ridiculous" and "the dumbest thing ever".
"Absolutely ridiculous … she gets three months out of cricket, nine months suspended - she's only on $26,000 a year," he said.
"Because she puts the team on Instagram making a joke about where she's batting in the batting order (she's suspended) because some people in illegal gambling in Asia might make some money out of it," Breen said.
"Who cares, right?
"The Australian cricket team was announced on a Thursday at 2pm, at nine o'clock in the morning. Every Australian media outlet published the whole 14 and we put the batting order on the news at eleven o'clock in the morning. Did anyone from Cricket Australia get banned because they leaked the team to the media?
"She put the team on Instagram and got banned. It's the dumbest thing ever.
"When Smith, Bancroft and Warner got banned, they had to play club cricket as part of their rehab. She's not allowed to play club cricket."
Former Australian netball captain Liz Ellis agreed with Breen.
"It's the stupidest, stupidest thing," Ellis said.
"I get you've got to have integrity and have integrity rules around your sport, but for the WBBL give her a warning and let it go. It's not like it's sandpaper."
The late Phil Hughes was reprimanded by Cricket Australia after revealing the Ashes squad before the official announcement in 2009, but received only a warning at the time.
APA'S EMERGENCY MEETING
Players union chiefs are to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to explore potential ways they could support suspended Smith, according to reports.
Smith has to sit out her team's remaining WBBL and WNCL fixtures this season, a penalty the Australian Players Association say is too excessive.
Have just heard from suspended @HurricanesWBBL player Emily Smith’s Manager, who says she won’t be making any comment at this stage.— Brent Costelloe (@brentcostelloe) November 19, 2019
She’s currently back in Melbourne with family and friends, with her current priority her health and well being. @WINNews_Tas
The Emily Smith ban is interesting. It’s clear she wasn’t trying to do anything corrupt but also shows how seriously anti-corruption is taken. And it has to be.— Elizabeth Ammon (@legsidelizzy) November 18, 2019
Should be said that this penalty is exactly half as harsh as those levied in 2016 on three WBBL players for betting on men's games. Given this looked innocent but actually pertained to a game Emily Smith was playing in, it looks logical https://t.co/hnkybfOUt3— Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) November 18, 2019
The APA have suggested Smith should have received a fully suspended sentence instead, but have also refuted claims they urged the player to accept the suspension and move on.
The union, keen to illustrate that corruption was not a factor in Smith's actions, has now sent a document to its members countrywide featuring the options they will present to board members in Tuesday's emergency meeting with the view of mitigating her punishment, Newscorp Australia reports.
One of these measures could be to broker a possible meeting with CA officials to and take up Smith's cause directly.