Banned duo weigh up returns in Top End

Banned batsmen Cameron Bancroft and David Warner could make returns to competitive cricket as early as July, with the Test openers separately considering winter playing stints in the Northern Territory.

It’s understood Bancroft is weighing up a comeback in the Top End which NT administrators hope would see him play in the second edition of the Strike League in July. The Western Australian could also feature in Darwin’s main club competition.

While Bancroft appears the closer of the two batsmen to being locked in, NT Cricket chief executive Joel Morrison confirmed they’ve also had discussions with Warner to play in “Northern Territory’s version of the Big Bash” as per reports by Cricket Network.

Steve Smith, David Warner Cleared To Return To Club Cricket In Australia

Steve Smith and David Warner can now play grade cricket for their respective clubs.

Tainted Australian cricketers Steve Smith and David Warner have been cleared to play grade cricket for their respective clubs in Sydney according to an International Cricket Council press release on Thursday. The New South Wales Cricket Association (NSWCA) confirmed that it would not stop them from playing grade cricket this season, opening the doors for the former Australian captain and vice-captain’s return to competitive sport. Cameron Bancroft, on the other hand, would require an exemption from The Western Australia District Cricket Council (WADCC) to play for his club in Perth this year. Cricket Australia’s sanctions for Smith, Warner and Bancroft for their part in the ball-tampering scandal prevent them from playing international and Australian domestic cricket, but not club cricket.

Western Australia’s Premier clubs are set to meet on Monday to determine whether Bancroft will be granted an exemption from its own rules, which dictate that suspensions handed down by CA also apply to its competition as reported by NDTV Sports.

Cameron Bancroft clear to play club cricket after getting exemption

Cameron Bancroft will be free to play grade cricket for Western Australia club Willetton before the end of his nine-month ban for ball-tampering.

Bancroft incurred the suspension from Cricket Australia for his part in the ball-tampering controversy which engulfed Steve Smith’s side during the Cape Town Test against South Africa two months ago.

Captain Smith and his deputy David Warner were both banned from international and domestic cricket for a year after a plan was hatched to alter the condition of the ball at Newlands. They are clear to play for their club sides in New South Wales, but a quirk of state association rules in Western Australia meant Bancroft needed an exemption to do so at the start of next season.

The opener, at 25 just eight matches into his Test career, admitted to applying sandpaper to the ball after television cameras showed him stashing the evidence down his trousers according to The Guardian.