BEHIND THE DESK: Is the BBL consistent with punishment?
A number of players were fined and served suspensions by Cricket Australia last year but have the punishments been fair across the board?
DO THE CRIME, DO THE TIME
THE KFC Big Bash League is in full swing for another summer and while it’s been a memorable season so far it hasn’t been without its controversy.
Star Sydney Thunder spinner Chris Green was the latest player to get on the wrong side of Cricket Australia when he was handed a 90-day bowling ban for illegal action this week.
While he won’t be able to use his bowling ability, he will still be able to take to the pitch as a batter and a fielder in the 90 days.
While frustrating, it is a fitting punishment as Cricket Australia looks to put its foot down on any form of cheating in the game.
Another cricketer caught breaking the rules over the last year was WBBL wicketkeeper Emily Smith, who was handed a 12-month ban after leaking the team line-up for her Hobart Hurricanes an hour before the match, which is a blatant breach of the anti-corruption code.
Some may see this as a harsh punishment but professional cricketers are aware of their obligations in terms of corruption and media restrictions and Cricket Australia has things right by making an example of those who break the rules.
The dust has long settled on the Australian sandpaper scandal involving the beloved Steve Smith and David Warner and it is clear to see Cricket Australia isn’t taking any more chances.
Well another week has passed and the Big Bash machine rolls on, churning out another series of talking points that show how widely disparate the punishments are for offences in the code.
I don’t really see how a WBBL player can be suspended for a year after a teamsheet was innocently and innocuously sighted in an Instagram story, while a BBL player who used a homophobic slur against an opposition can escape with a $7500 fine and not miss any game time.
Then, you’ve got a bowler with an illegal action, still able to take the field and bat and field?
To recap, Hobart Hurricanes WBBL player Emily Smith was handed a one-year ban — with nine months suspended — for a breach of Cricket Australia’s anti-corruption code after she posted her team’s line-up on her Instagram story for a match that was ultimately abandoned.
In contrast, Marcus Stoinis was slugged with a fine for using a homophobic slur but was free to play the next game.
Add to this the decision to stand Chris Green down from bowling, but hypothetically still able to be picked as a batter despite bowling illegally, and you’ve got a dog’s breakfast.
It seems Cricket Australia takes offences that could impact their gambling partners far more seriously than offences involving homophobia and abuse of other players.