Cricket boss support after WBBL mishap

Hobart Hurricanes' Emily Smith will miss the rest of the WBBL season through suspension.
Hobart Hurricanes' Emily Smith will miss the rest of the WBBL season through suspension.

Cricket Tasmania's boss has thrown his support behind banned WBBL player Emily Smith but believes the punishment dished out to the Hobart wicketkeeper is about right.

Cricket Australia (CA) has banned Smith for a year, with nine months suspended, for posting a Hurricanes team line-up on Instagram about an hour before its official release.

It means she'll be sidelined from all forms of cricket for three months and miss the remainder of the WBBL and WNCL competitions.

The ban has sparked debate, with Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Alistair Nicholson lashing it as "heavy-handed".

Cricket Tasmania CEO Nick Cummins said Smith had paid a high price for an innocent lapse but understood CA's decision.

"Emily's view is that it was an honest mistake. She absolutely had no intention of breaching any confidence," he said.

"This is not a divisive issue where someone has consciously done the wrong thing. We sit very firmly with the player.

"We need to support her so that, when the ban finishes, she can come back and continue to do what she loves."

Smith on November 2 posted an video online of the Hurricanes' line-up from the dressing room at Burnie before the match against Sydney Thunder.

The match was ultimately washed out without a ball being bowled.

Mobile phones are usually taken from players by team management before they head into the rooms.

"Collectively, we all could have done better," Cummins conceded.

"When management arrived, they probably didn't switch on. The team manager knew she did the wrong thing as well.

"Her (manager's) failure was to act swiftly in terms of taking phones. We've certainly had long conversations about that."

Cummins said players were given regular education about when not to use mobile phones as part of anti-corruption measures.

Smith, who is on a one-year deal with the Hurricanes, won't be able to train with the team while she serves her ban.

Nicholson told SEN radio the incident was a "comedy of errors" and the 24-year-old's sanction should have been fully suspended.

"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," he said.

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

Smith has accepted the sanction for breaching Article 2.3.2 of the anti-corruption code which prohibits disclosing inside information to any person.

Cummins said any decision to re-sign Victorian-born Smith would be based purely on her capabilities as a player.

Australian Associated Press