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County cricket lifeline for Steve Smith, David Warner, Cameron Bancroft?

English county cricket team Surrey has shown interest in signing one of three Australian banned cricketers accused of ball tampering – Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft

cricket Updated: Apr 18, 2018 16:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Steve Smith,David Warner,Cameron Bancroft
Steve Smith and David Warner have been banned for one year for ball tampering during a Test between Australian cricket team and South African cricket team.(AFP)

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, the three Australian cricketers banned for ball tampering, may get a life line from County cricket. English county team Surrey has shown interest in signing one of Australian banned cricketers.

Surrey coach Michael Di Venuto, who served as the batting coach of Australia till 2016, has confirmed that he would love to have one of the trio in his team provided the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) agrees for the same.

READ | David Warner follows Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, won’t challenge ban

Surrey had earlier signed Australian all-rounder Mitch Marsh as one of its overseas players for the season, but he is now not available following an ankle surgery. In Marsh’s absence, Surrey signed South African opener Dean Elgar for April and May, which leaves one overseas spot vacant for the second half of the season.

Smith, Warner or Bancroft can be considered for this spot.

“From an Australian perspective, it is probably important that they play a bit of cricket at some stage,” Di Venuto was quoted as saying by

“I don’t know if they are allowed to play in this competition. I know what it states in their sanctions that they can’t play domestic cricket in Australia.

READ | Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft suspensions too severe: Australian Cricketers’ Association

“We have got a relationship with Mitch to see how he goes with his ankle but we have got a spot we have got to fill as well. So, if they are in the right mental state to play cricket and the ECB will have to allow it to start with, then we’d be mad not to look at some of the world’s best players potentially playing,” he said while talking to the Australian website.

READ | Steve Smith, David Warner, Cameron Bancroft sent home by Cricket Australia

Di Venuto is considered close to both Smith and Warner who are currently undergoing a 12-month ban due to their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal. Following the announcement of sanctions from Cricket Australia, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) barred the disgraced Australian stars from taking part in the ongoing IPL as well.

Bancroft, the other member of the banned troika, has been handed over a nine-month ban following which English country Somerset took his name off its contract list.

Though the trio can play only club cricket in Australia as their sanctions prevent them from taking part in domestic matches as well, there is no clause in the ban which stops them from playing overseas.

First Published: Apr 18, 2018 15:41 IST