Cricket prankster cops crazy ban
An attempted joke on social media about her lowly position in the batting order has resulted in a women's Big Bash star copping a stunning one-year ban under match fixing rules.
Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper Emily Smith will not play again this summer after posting the team list to her closed Instagram followers an hour before it was to be officially released.
Cricket Australia has come down like a ton of bricks on the 24-year-old and she is devastated about the impact that an anti-corruption conviction could have on her future career prospects when all the noted prankster was doing was trying to be funny.
The players association on Monday night claimed Smith's error of judgment should be viewed in the context of a "comedy errors" from officials, which The Daily Telegraph understands includes team staff telling players they could keep hold of their phones in a restricted area, when protocol insists they should be confiscated.
The Daily Telegraph understands a Hobart team official may also have been fined for the lapse during a match against Sydney Thunder that was abandoned due to rain on November 2.
Cricket Australia revealed in a statement that players can be suspended for leaking team information to journalists or disclosing it on social media platforms.
Hobart Hurricanes WBBL player Emily Smith banned for 12 months (nine suspended) under anti-corruption code for posting a team line up to Instagram an hour before it was meant to be released. Game was washed out anyway in the end. Bloody tough price to pay. #WBBL05 pic.twitter.com/A34tx8O6jh— Scott Bailey (@ScottBaileyAAP) November 18, 2019
Smith will serve a three month ban, with nine months of her ruthless one-year penalty suspended. The Australian Cricket Association privately feel the ban is heavy handed, but Cricket Australia says it makes no apology for its strict stance when anti-corruption is a factor.
"This is a case of an attempt at humour gone wrong," said Australian Cricketers Association boss, Alistair Nicholson.
"In the context of a washed out day people dropped their guard and there was a comedy of errors all around.
"However the integrity of the game is important - and Emily has accepted her sanction.
"She will learn from this - as we hope will others."
The Hobart Hurricanes issues a statement inferring there were other errors made by team officials.
"Cricket Tasmania is reviewing its processes for players and support staff entering the PMOA (players and match officials only access) areas to ensure no such breach is able to happen at future matches."
Smith won't play again until February 11, after being found in breach of article 2.3.2 of the anti-corruption code relating to the misuse of inside information.
"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," says the code.
Cricket Australia says the fact the post was intended as a joke was taken into consideration.
"While Cricket Australia acknowledges that at the time of posting the team line-up there was no intent to breach the anti-corruption code, CA's rigorous anti-corruption player education program 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," said Cricket Australia head of integrity, Sean Carroll.