Siddle says bans should stand
Senior fast bowler disagrees with players' union about reducing bans handed to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft
1 November 2018, 04:48 PM AEST
Test paceman Peter Siddle wants the ball-tampering bans to remain in place, arguing the punishments will ultimately help clean up the game.
The players' union, wielding Monday's independent report that suggested Cricket Australia (CA) should shoulder some of the responsibility for the sandpaper scandal, has presented to CA calling for Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft's suspensions to be lifted immediately.
Several high-profile former cricketers have backed the push but Siddle, who played both Tests in the UAE last month, isn't convinced.
"You always want to see them playing cricket but I think ... the punishments are there for a reason," Siddle said on Thursday, echoing the thoughts of former Test opener and ACA consultant Simon Katich earlier this week.
"They understood the reasons why they got those punishments so I think ... it comes down to them, obviously, serving them out, copping the penalty.
"And it's very close to them being back. They've still been playing cricket around the world (and) staying fit."
Earlier this year, Siddle took part in the Canadian Twenty20 competition that doubled as the first leg of Smith and Warner's comeback tour.
"Obviously I'm close mates with them and we'd like to see them out there but, also, hopefully their punishments can be something moving forward," the Victorian veteran said.
"Like JL (Australia coach Justin Langer) spoke about last night. Hopefully it does clean up the game and make it for the good of the game."
Langer detailed on Fox Sports how he was sad, angry and shocked by the Cape Town saga but also highlighted how tampering is "an international problem".
Smith and Warner's 12-month bans are due to expire on March 28 while Bancroft will be free to play from December 29.
The trio opted against challenging those suspensions earlier this year.
CA says its code of conduct dictates there is now no scope to revisit the sanctions.
Australian Cricketers' Association president Greg Dyer said earlier this week that his organisation would be "relentless" in its pursuit to get the bans reduced.
Spin king Shane Warne and former coach Darren Lehmann headline the notable names to have called for a softening of the bans but Katich is in the same camp as Siddle.
"I just don't think shortening the bans is going to do anyone any good," Katich said earlier this week.
"If the bans get shortened it's like the review said - it's a win-at-all costs mentality."
Vice-captain Josh Hazlewood, who has semi-regularly bowled to Smith and Warner in the SCG nets during their time in exile, admitted on Monday he would love to see the superstars "back as soon as possible".
"But that's not our decision," Hazlewood said.
"The bans have been handed down and the boys have copped them."