Emily Smith's three-month ban, with a further nine months suspended, by Cricket Australia will not be contested by the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA). However, the players' association will provide her with employment for the term of the ban, and also seek an urgent meeting with the CA Board to better understand how the Hobart Hurricanes wicketkeeper was suspended under its strict integrity regulations.
Smith was offered and accepted a paid internship with the ACA, working across its range of programmes for players past and present, thereby maintaining a link with the game while she is banned from taking part in the WBBL, the WNCL or club cricket.
"Emily has been offered and accepted an internship at the ACA to continue her professional development during this challenging time," the ACA stated in a letter to its members on Wednesday. "The internship will keep her involved in the game she loves and will incorporate the promotion of ACA programmes and services; past-player engagement and event management."
The other major outcome of the ACA's extraordinary board meeting on Tuesday evening, featuring its new president Shane Watson, chair Greg Dyer and chief executive Alistair Nicholson, was to request to meet with the CA Board for a wider discussion around Smith's sanction under its anti-corruption code, for posting to Instagram a video of the Hurricane's batting line-up an hour before the scheduled start of play of a WBBL game this season, one that was ultimately abandoned without a ball being bowled.
The CA Board is next due to meet on December 6. There will also be the opportunity for the ACA's chair Dyer to discuss the issue with the Australian Cricket Council (ACC), a joint body comprising the chairs of CA, the ACA and the eight state and territory cricket associations. This body was established as a result of the cultural review of CA that was commissioned and released in the wake of the Newlands ball-tampering scandal in 2018, and held its first meetings in August and October this year.
"Our priority is to continue to rebuild trust in and around the game and, since the Ethics Centre Review, we have seen tangible change at board and executive level and today's historical meeting is another example of our commitment to cultural change," CA chairman Earl Eddings said after the first ACC meeting in August. "The ACC will be a forum for consultation, deliberation and agreement. In this forum we have the flexibility to invite other relevant people who are experts in their field to consult or seek any information we consider necessary to fulfil our responsibilities."