“Unfortunate for Emily, but yeah, the sanction has been made.”
Smith posted the team on November 2 ahead of a match against the Sydney Thunder in Burnie, with the game ultimately rained out. Intended to be a lighthearted joke about her position down the batting order, the mistake was found to be in breach of the sport’s anti-corruption code.
“Under the sanction, Smith will be ineligible to participate in any form of cricket for a period of one year, with nine months being fully suspended,” Cricket Australia said in a statement. “This effectively means that Smith is ineligible for a period of three months, ruling her out of the remainder of this season’s WBBL and WNCL competitions.”
The Hobart Hurricanes were also fined $10,000, as Smith should not have had access to her phone at the time she made the post.
Smith’s suspension caused outrage with commentators, with many pointing out a similar incident involving the late Phil Hughes who revealed the Ashes squad before its official announcement in 2009. He received a warning at the time.
The argument made for Smith’s harsh penalty was the regular bets made on the game, with more money wagered on a fixture of WBBL than any given NRL or AFL match.
Blackwell said that players were “educated regularly” on the rules which were there to “protect your game”.
“She has to cop it on the chin,” Blackwell said. “Cricket Australia and the ACA [Australia Cricket Association] have done what’s necessary.”
Blackwell made the comments during the official announcement of her retirement from the WBBL.
“Now is the perfect time for me to not be playing because I’m juggling many roles, including my job, and also board roles and commentary roles and all sorts of things … it would be difficult as a 37-year-old to balance all that next season,” she said.
Blackwell will likely play her final match with the Sydney Thunder on Sunday, with the chances of the side making the semi-finals slim.
“It’s a narrow chance but we can do what we can and play a really good game against the Melbourne Renegades and see what happens after that,” Blackwell said.
Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.