It's been a few months since the trio of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft re-emerged after serving a one-year ban for ball-tampering during the 4-match Test series between Australia and South Africa in 2018. But now, another Australian cricketer has been sentenced to a year-long ban from cricket.
The person in question this time is Emily Smith, wicketkeeper of Hobart Hurricanes in the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL). The 24-year old cricketer has been handed the ban for having shared a video revealing the final playing XI of her team on November 2, around one hour before it was supposed to be made known to the public.
This video was captured by Smith in the Players and Match Officials Area (PMOA) which is off-limits for shooting and public viewing. This is a clear violation of Article 2.3.2 of Anti-Corruption Code.
This code considers "Disclosing inside information to any person (with or without reward) where the participant knew or might reasonably have known that such disclosure might lead to the information being used in relation to betting in relation to any match or event" as an offence.
However, Cricket Australia (CA) is not accusing Emily of any corrupt motives. This is being seen as a serious lapse of judgement and discretion on the part of the young wicketkeeper. Sean Carroll, CA's head of security and integrity stated this in clear terms.
"CA's rigorous anti-corruption player education programme means that players are well aware of their obligations under the Anti-Corruption Code and there is no excuse for breaches regardless of the reasons for information being disclosed," he informed the media.
Carroll further stated: "We have been working with Emily throughout the process and Emily now understands the mistake she made. We hope this serves as reminder to all that the Anti-Corruption Code is critical to protecting the integrity of the game."
This issue has arisen at an interesting time. A few weeks ago, Bangladesh's captain Shakib Al-Hasan was banned for two years due to him not reporting his meetings with a bookie. One day before the punishment of Emily being announced, James Pattinson, one of the leading pace bowlers in Australia's men's team also received a ban, of only one Test match though, for what has come to light as 'a homophobic slur' directed at an opponent.
So, while the leading cricket bodies around the world continue their efforts to end corruption within the game, the battle is far from over. The attempts by authorities to increase the awareness of cricketers are laudable. It's now up to the players to not waiver in their determination.