Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Authorities let it happen: Waugh on ball-tampering scandal

Cricket Australia reviews'confronting according to board member Mark Taylor 'Arrogant' Cricket Australia slammed in damning report
Sergio Cook | 01 November, 2018, 12:48

"Below the surface", Longstaff says, is a "web of influences" that show responsibility for the bigger picture of what happened in Cape Town lies not just with the players involved but with Cricket Australia administrators.

Released on Monday, the wide-ranging review of Cricket Australia (CA) was commissioned in March after a ball-tampering scandal rocked the national team during its South Africa tour.

The Australian Cricketers' Association has called for Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft's bans to be lifted immediately, arguing new evidence must be taken into account.

"This is hugely significant".

"Common sense, common decency, basic fairness, proportionality and natural justice demand that the punishment is reduced".

The review that was set up in the wake of the ball tampering incident had observed that Australia's players were living in a "gilded bubble - disconnected, for much of each year, from families, friends and the grounding influence of community".

David Peever, CA chairman, said some good would come from the 42 recommendations in the report.

The independent review by the Sydney-based Ethics Centre accused Cricket Australia (CA) of only paying lip service to the spirit of the game, leaving players without moral guidance.

"They'll earn a lot more respect that way than if the ban gets shortened - because, realistically, if the bans get shortened it's like the review said -it's a win-at-all costs mentality". Chief executive James Sutherland has left after 17 years and Pat Howard, the high-performance manager, has said he won't extend his contract beyond mid-2019.

Dyer and Nicholson refused to speculate on what course of action it would take if CA rejected calls for Smith, Warner and Bancroft to return to action.

Longstaff's findings are couched in unusually powerful terms, likening the grief felt by the Australian public to another incident of poor sportsmanship in the country's cricketing past.

Without Mr Peever's resignation sidelined players Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have little chance of returning. It also wants an Australian Cricket Council configured, with key figures from the sport to meet twice a year to consider "issues of strategic significance" to the sport.

Interviews with players and ex-players over the past few months have largely reflected a view that the suspensions were too harsh, but if that's the case, Warner, Smith and Bancroft may have been let down by the lack of responses from their colleagues.

But CA is holding firm on the bans, with any reductions thought unlikely.

Cricket Australia have made counselling and psychological help available to the banished stars, but it's understood there is a feeling amongst them that they've been largely unsupported by the governing body.

"I'd like to see Mark Taylor stand up as chairman of Cricket Australia", Speed said.

The vanquished coach denies overseeing a culture where his players abused team staff and doesn't agree game plans and strategies focused on Warner being an attack dog for the Australian team.

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