The Hurricanes' Heather Knight celebrates a wicket with Emily Smith at the Junction Oval, Melbourne on Sunday, October 20.  Picture: Michael Dodge/AAP
The Hurricanes' Heather Knight celebrates a wicket with Emily Smith at the Junction Oval, Melbourne on Sunday, October 20. Picture: Michael Dodge/AAP

ACA boss hits out over WBBL player's ban

AUSTRALIAN Cricketers' Association chief executive Alistair Nicholson has criticised the severity of the ban handed to WBBL player Emily Smith.

Cricket Australia imposed a one-year ban on the Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper, with nine months suspended, for posting a team line-up on Instagram about an hour before its official release.

In a statement on Monday evening, CA said Smith had accepted the sanction for breaching Article 2.3.2 of the anti-corruption code, which prohibits: "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."

Smith will be unable to participate in any form of cricket for at least three months, ruling her out of the rest of this season's WBBL and WNCL competitions.

The incident occurred on November 2 when the Hurricanes were scheduled to play Sydney Thunder - although the match in Burnie was washed out without a ball being bowled.

"The context is important, it's really a comedy of errors," Nicholson told SEN.

"Officials are supposed to take away the players' phones.

"You had a game here where there was rain-delay, and it was on ice, so the player had their phone when the system shouldn't have let her have it.

"It's heavy-handed but the reality is she was a position she shouldn't have been in."

Nicholson said the extensive ban has thrown Victoria-born Smith's life upside down.

"From our point of view, whilst corruption and integrity is very important and Emily has accepted the sanction - it should have been fully suspended," he said.

"It's certainly been a real shock for her, it's a scenario that she wasn't expecting and she's basically probably have to move her life back to Victoria. That's a real change."

News Corp Australia

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