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BBL head rules out participation of Smith and Warner

Both Smith and Warner were able to take part in the inaugural edition of the Global T20 Canada.

Kim McConnie, head of the Big Bash League, has ruled out the possibility of the banned duo of David Warner and Steven Smith participating in the upcoming edition of Australia’s T20 tournament.

Following the ball-tampering fiasco in the Cape Town Test in March, Warner and Smith were banned for 12 months, which rules them out of participation in the BBL as well. With Cricket Australia’s sanctions only restricting their participation in international games for their country and club level cricket in Australia, both Smith and Warner were able to take part in the inaugural edition of the Global T20 Canada.

There were calls from former players, including Shane Watson, urging CA to soften its stance. Terming the punishments harsh, Watson had said: “The thing that just disappoints me about the whole situation is now Steve Smith and Dave Warner are over promoting other tournaments by playing in them.

“I understand the rulings … but for them to have the opportunity to go and promote other tournaments, I’d prefer if they’re going to do that and have access to do that (that) they have access to promote the Big Bash, for example. At the moment we’ve got a few world-class players … but they don’t just fall out of trees. That’s why Steve and Dave are such an integral part to Australian cricket, especially in the shorter format,” the former Australia all-rounder had said.

However, McConnie, on Monday (July 16) said CA’s sanctions will be applicable and there won’t be any promotional roles for Smith and Warner to feature in the BBL. “Both players have done a really good job and accepted the ruling from Cricket Australia, and they won’t be appearing in the BBL this season,” McConnie said.

“I think every player who plays cricket, we love to think that they talk about the Big Bash and promote the tournament. But beyond being cricket players themselves that have a love of the format, there’ll be no formal relationship.

“We’ve got so many heroes within our current league, and what we’re going to be focusing on this season is really making sure that we bring some of those younger players that we’re developing in our own system. So we’re going to have some star power but it’s also about promoting the generation coming through the T20 format as well,” McConnie said.

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