Hobart Hurricanes leave Emily Smith out of WBBL squad a year after anti-corruption ban
Hobart Hurricanes leave Emily Smith out of WBBL squad a year after anti-corruption ban

WBBL prankster still paying price for Instagram ban

Emily Smith is still paying the price for a prank gone wrong, a year after her controversial anti-corruption ban.

The young star has been left out of the Hobart Hurricanes WBBL squad for this summer, although she does still remain an outside chance of a last-minute lifeline after being drafted into the tournament's 'Village' in Sydney as a replacement player.

Smith was last summer slapped with a 12 month ban (nine suspended) under the game's strict anti-corruption code, after she posted the Hurricanes' team line-up to Instagram as a joke.

The ban polarised the game and sparked outrage amongst past players like Isa Guha, Shane Warne and Michael Vaughan and players' union reps Shane Watson and Alyssa Healy, who felt it was too heavy handed.

Given the penalty essentially wiped her out for all of last season, the proof of what long-term impact it might have on her career was always going to be laid bare this summer.

It is important to emphasise Smith hasn't been banished from the game and Hobart have not abandoned her.

Smith is still firmly in Tasmania's WNCL plans for the 50-over competition and is still in the WBBL mix on the fringes as a replacement player.

But the indisputable fact is that by missing Hobart's 14-woman squad she has suffered a significant fall from grace from where she was 12 months ago, as a result of being consigned to the sidelines last season.

Cricket Australia made no apologies for the tough stance they took, with it difficult to make exceptions around anti-corruption when the sport has been disgraced by betting scandals over the decades.

 

Emily Smith has missed out on a spot in this summer’s Hobart Hurricanes squad.
Emily Smith has missed out on a spot in this summer’s Hobart Hurricanes squad.

 

 

The WBBL had become a target for illegal bookmakers in the subcontinent and players at all levels had been stringently educated on why releasing something as innocuous as a batting order was prohibited.

However, critics felt Smith was an 'easy target' because of her low profile and were dismayed that the innocence of the prank gone wrong was not recognised by CA's anti-corruption police, particularly when the match in question was washed out and players never even took the field.

Smith wore the punishment stoically and should be applauded for her courage in boxing on.

The 25-year-old wicketkeeper is with the Hurricanes squad as a replacement player, and under unique WBBL rules she could be picked up by any squad in the competition who has a void to fill.

She will train with the Hurricanes, but could theoretically be picked up by the Sydney Sixers in the event Alyssa Healy suffered an injury.

However, in an environment where Smith still works part-time to balance her ambitions as a cricketer, her career has taken a major step back, and she must now fight her way back.

 

 

 

Originally published as WBBL prankster still paying price for Instagram ban



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