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Posted: 2019-01-12 19:00:00

"The official voting procedures for the Australian Cricket Awards, which, for this voting period were agreed between the ACA and CA in January 2018 detail the eligibility requirements for each award," a CA spokesman said.

"The eligibility rules for the Test, ODI and T20 International Players of the Year provide that where a player receives a suspension for a time period, rather than specific matches, the player is automatically disqualified from winning the award for any form of the game that the player played during the period of the suspension.

"In the case of Steve, David and Cameron, they will be ineligible to be awarded Test, ODI or T20 International Player of the Year at this year's Australian Cricket Awards."

Smith and Warner have dominated the count in recent years, splitting not only the past four Border medals but also three of the past four Test and ODI player awards.

Smith's immediate concern is dealing with an elbow injury, which forced him home from the Bangladesh Premier League.

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It was announced on Saturday that the former captain will have surgery, and will be out of action for six weeks.

Just how CA presents the highlights package and references the now-infamous 322-run loss at Newlands will be a curious subplot of this year's count, a match which forever will be remembered for Warner directing Bancroft to use a piece of yellow sandpaper to scuff a ball that was not reverse swinging. Smith, as he reiterated recently, was guilty of knowing something was being hatched but instead of stopping it, continued to walk by the pair in the dressing room during the lunch break on day three.

Smith and Warner each failed with the bat in that Test, the former making 5 and 7 and the latter 30 and 32, meaning they are unlikely to be awarded votes on the 3-2-1 basis.

However, eyebrows are likely to be raised should Bancroft poll. There is every chance that will be the case for he top scored in the first innings, supplying his team's only half century (77) in a total of 255, while he was only behind Warner in scoring 26 in a second innings debacle where the visitors were fired out for 107.

Fast bowler Pat Cummins, with seven wickets for the match, is also likely to feature in the votes, while Nathan Lyon, with five wickets and a fighting 47 in the first innings, will also have support.

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The Border Medal process features a 3-2-1 vote from the players, while the 3-2-1 of the match referee and a selected journalist are combined in a collective 3-2-1 vote. The votes are cast immediately after a match.

The match referee during the tumultuous third Test was Andy Pycroft, who handed Smith a one-match ban and stripped Bancroft of three demerit points for their roles in the tampering. The subsequent major suspensions came after a CA investigation led by former integrity chief Iain Roy.

Next month's awards night shapes as a sombre affair, in contrast to last year's buoyant mood after Smith had been labelled the country's best batsman since Sir Donald Bradman while helping to reclaim the Ashes.

Lyon, with 49 Test wickets at 34.02 last year, and Cummins, with 44 Test wickets at 19.97, are favourites to claim the Border medal but strong performances in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka, beginning this month, could determine who nudges ahead. Lyon also has the potential to claim votes in three-match one-day series against India, although Test votes carry a greater weighting.

There will be some joy, however, at the count, for the women's Twenty20 side will be celebrated for claiming last year's World Cup in the Caribbean.

Jon Pierik is a sports writer with The Age, focusing primarily on AFL football, cricket and basketball. He has won awards for his cricket and basketball writing.

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