Cricket Australia 'partly to blame' in ball-tampering scandal

Arnold Nichols
October 31, 2018

Smith and Warner are now serving 12-month bans for their roles in the scandal, ruling them out of representing Australia in any format until March next year and playing domestic cricket in Sheffield Shield and Big Bash League this summer.

Composed by Dr Simon Longstaff in conjunction with a player review conducted by the former Test batsman Rick McCosker, it has exposed the governing body as "arrogant" and "controlling", while casting back to the introduction of more outwardly corporate structures and goals by the 2011 Argus review as a key point on the road towards the Newlands ball tampering scandal.

"My message to Cricket Australia is this: these contrite men have suffered enough".

Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) president Greg Dyer, perhaps the most vocal and consistent critic of the bans, said in a statement that "independently verified contributing factors must now be taken into consideration and the penalties reduced".

Smith, captain at the time, and Warner, his vice-captain, are seven months into one-year bans, while Bancroft, who carried out the cheating in South Africa, will be eligible to return in December.

"The leadership of CA should also accept responsibility for its inadvertent (but foreseeable) failure to create and support a culture in which the will-to-win was balanced by an equal commitment to moral courage and ethical restraint", the review said.

"No matter what sport you play, you always want to win", said Haddin, who is now an assistant coach to Justin Langer in the Australian set-up. These include chief executive James Sutherland stepping aside after 17 years, having been replaced by Kevin Roberts, while high-performance boss Pat Howard will depart next year.

Peever was also faced with blanket condemnation in the pages of Australia's newspapers on Tuesday, the main charge being that he had extended his reign as chairman after the ball-tampering scandal while heads around him rolled.

So as the fate of the tainted trio hangs in doubt, it would be interesting to see if Cricket Australia budges under pressure mounted by the cricketers.

File image of Steve Smith and David Warner.

"That's been recognised and we're using the report now as an opportunity to do better", Peever said.

"I'd be happy either way - for the bans to be lifted (entirely) ... but at worst (a compromise) so they can play Sheffield Shield cricket or Big Bash", Border told The Daily Telegraph.

"Responsibility for that larger picture lies with CA and not just the players held directly responsible for the appalling incidents", in the match at Cape Town.

"But I think that's missing at the moment, that the dyed-in-the-wool cricket people need to stand up and take back their sport", he said. "We just got a little bit wrapped up in our self-importance".

"That a financial institution "robbed the dead" is as unthinkable as an Australian cricket player taking sandpaper onto the field of play", he said.

"You're never going to have a game of cricket played where opposition aren't going to speak to each other".

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