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BCCI bars Smith, Warner from IPL-2018 

New Delhi, March 28

The BCCI on Wednesday barred Steve Smith and David Warner from taking part in this year’s Indian Premier League after Cricket Australia banned the disgraced duo for their role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. Smith and Warner were supposed to captain their respective franchises Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in this edition but had stepped down in the wake of the scandal and CA’s sanction paved the way for BCCI to ban the duo.

The Australian body banned Smith and Warner for one year, and opener Cameron Bancroft for nine months. “They (Cricket Australia) have banned two players and we are also barring these two players from this year’s IPL,” IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told reporters today. “We wanted everything in our own hands. First, we waited for ICC’s decision, after that Cricket Australia and then we decided on the matter. “The replacements will be made available to the two teams. We did not take any decision in haste, it was a well thought out decision,” Shukla added. Minutes later, the Indian cricket board issued a release stating:”The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) on Wednesday took cognizance of the developments in the ball tampering incident involving Cricket Australia contracted cricketers – Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft. “The CoA, in consultation with BCCI Acting President CK Khanna, IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla and BCCI Acting Hon. Secretary Amitabh Choudhary, has decided to ban Smith and Warner with immediate effect from participation in IPL 2018,” the statement added. Smith and Warner, along with Cameron Bancroft, were ordered to return home midway into the series yesterday.

Following Smith’s and Bancroft’s admission to ball-tampering in the third Test, the ICC banned the Australian captain for one Test while the latter was fined 75 percent of his match fee.  However, a public outcry in Australia led CA to hand a much harsher punishment. However, chief coach Darren Lehmann was surprisingly given a clean chit after CA concluded its preliminary investigations yesterday. Tim Paine will captain Australia in the final Test match in Johannesburg with reinforcements in middle-order batsman Glenn Maxwell along with openers Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw scheduled to arrive tomorrow. Media reports stated that the three players have a week to appeal against the sanctions.

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