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Cricket Australia are now under increasing pressure to reduce the bans after a report from the Ethics Centre said the culture within the Australian game was to blame.

"Let these contrite men play", ACA president and former Australian cricketer Greg Dyer said in a statement.

"There must be a reconsideration of the harshness of the penalties handed down to Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft".

"Basic fairness demands these independently verified contributing factors must now be taken into consideration and the penalties reduced".

However, as per the cultural report, Cricket Australia has also played its hand in the ball-tampering scandal.

The report, commissioned by CA after the ball-tampering affair, noted "responsibility for that larger picture lies with CA and not just the players held directly responsible for the appalling incident at Newlands".

Although Longstaff makes a distinction between responsibility and culpability for those in charge of the team and the game, his claim that Cricket Australia has failed to be appropriately accountable for a culture marred by ethical imbalance is damning to say the least. "In our opinion, CA's fault is not that it established a culture of "win at all costs", the review states.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal Smith has signed with the UAE T20X league which will launch in the Emirates on December 19 in direct competition with the BBL competition that he and David Warner are banned from.

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Steve Smith and David Warner have been given a ban up to a year, which means they will be eligible to play all forms of cricket from April 2019.

Longstaff recommends the establishment of a CA ethics commission and an Australian Cricket Council which would meet twice a year to consider "issues of strategic significance".

That option would allow Smith and Warner to at least play for NSW until their global bans end on March 28.

CA chairman David Peever has maintained the suspensions will be upheld while CA chief executive Kevin Roberts has suggested the players' case has been weakened because they opted to not appeal against their suspensions in March.

"I know all involved, would have preferred that the events in South Africa didn't occur", Peever added. When you look back on it, it was a ridiculous mistake but it was sort of blown out of all proportion as well, the way it got covered, but that's the nature of Australian sport.

But CA is holding firm on the bans, with any reductions thought unlikely.

Despite only weeks ago saying goodbye after 17 years in the top job, James Sutherland escaped on Tuesday with barely a mention on a day when it was decreed he had overseen a poisonous culture.

Longstaff reported that the most common description of CA was as "arrogant, controlling" and disrespectful, leading players to feel as though they're treated as commodities.


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