Darren Gough against county lifeline for Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft
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Darren Gough against county lifeline for Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft

Former England bowler Darren Gough is surprised at the prospect of Surrey coach Michael Di Venuto considering the idea of signing banned Australian cricketers Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft.

cricket Updated: Apr 24, 2018 18:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Darren Gough,Steve Smith,David Warner
Cricket Australia confirmed one-year bans for Steve Smith and David Warner following revelations concerning ball-tampering.(Twitter )

Former England pacer Darren Gough has taken a strong exception to Surrey coach Michael di Venuto expressing interest in signing one of the banned Australian cricketers for county season this year.

Earlier this month, di Venuto had thrown a county lifeline for the banned Australian troika of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft saying Surrey would be ‘mad’ not to sign one of these cricketers provided ECB had no objection.

“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 was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

Gough, however, scoffed at di Venuto’s suggestions saying he would feel very disappointed if it came true.

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“I was absolutely gobsmacked when I heard that Surrey coach Michael Di Venuto said he would be keen to sign one of Australia’s banned Test stars,” Gough wrote in the Yorkshire Post.

“I do think there has been an overreaction regarding the bans, but once they got the 12-month bans from Cricket Australia, I would be hugely disappointed if one of the counties – as a Yorkshire fan – employed one of those three this season.

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“Next season, I would have no issue with it. They will have then served their ban. But not this season,” the 47-year-old wrote.

The three Australian cricketers received sanctions from Cricket Australia following their involvement in ball-tampering scandal that came to the fore during Australia’s tour to South Africa last month. While Smith and Warner were slapped with a 12-month ban each, Bancroft on account of his younger age received a relatively lesser nine-month sanction.

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Di Venuto, who served as the batting coach of Australian cricket team till 2016 and is considered close to Smith and Warner, had said that a county stint would benefit the Australian players. Gough didn’t find that part of his suggestions amusing either.

“What disappointed me most about what Di Venuto said was that he actually stated that bringing in one of those three would benefit Australian cricket.

“I am not bothered about benefiting Australian cricket. Why would one of our coaches in this country want to benefit their cricket with the Ashes coming up here next year?

“This year, with everything that has gone on, I think it would be a bad move for a county to take them,” the former speedster concluded.

First Published: Apr 24, 2018 18:35 IST