Peter Lusted: Report in ball tampering scandal released

Episode of: D'Arcy and Goran

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Oct 29, 20189m
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Peter Lusted: Report in ball tampering scandal released
Oct 29 '189m
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LISTEN TO AUSTRALIAN CORRESPONDENT PETER LUSTED TALK WITH CRAIG CUMMING ABOVE' Disturbing, systematic arrogance has been revealed as rife throughout Cricket Australia in key findings from independent cultural reviews following the ball tampering scandal in South Africa. The reviews paint a damning picture of the Cricket Australia culture and the impact it had on the way the Australian cricket team conducted itself on the field. Australian cricket captain Tim Paine opened a Cricket Australia press conference on Monday by announcing a new-formed players' pact, a document that was created as a product of the player-led review chaired by former Test opener Rick McCosker. The final details of the pact were drawn up last month after an informal meeting of the nation's most influential cricketers, male and female, and stresses the importance of fair play on and off the field. Paine said "not a hell of a lot" has to change about how his team has conducted itself in recent tours. Paine's media conference came at the same time as Cricket Australia's independent review into the wider culture of Australian cricket's governing body was released. The review, conducted by Simon Longstaff, found the Cricket Australia culture is "arrogant", "bullying" and "dictatorial" in a 145-page document released on Monday. Longstaff concluded there is a direct link between the actions of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft during the Sandpaper cheating episode in Cape Town and the competitive, bullish culture created at executive level in Cricket Australia. Smith and Warner are the central characters of the review — and their behaviour is seen as symptomatic of the troubled culture of professional cricket in Australia. The review found the promotions and accolades given to Warner and Smith, despite their record number of ICC Code of Conduct strikes, reinforced a win-at-all-cost culture with no second thought to player behaviour. "Over recent years, David Warner and Steve Smith have attracted the highest number of Code of Conduct breaches for international matches," the review said. "However, in the last two years, both men have been honoured — suggesting that poor behaviour is not considered to be linked to the concept of poor performance. The review also accuses Australia of failing to take accountability for its own failings that contributed to the ball tampering scandal. "The severe punishments handed out to Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith and David Warner in the wake of Newlands is cited as an example of this — where CA is seen to have failed to accept its share of the blame for what transpired," the review found. The report highlights concerns about the "commericalisation of cricket", a win-at-all costs mentality, "multiple instances of disrespect running through CA", the "normalisation of verbal abuse in Australian men's cricket" and that the "incidence of verbal abuse extends beyond player behaviour". The executive summary notes that "CA is perceived to say one thing and do another". "The most common description of CA is as "arrogant" and "controlling". The core complaint is that the organisation does not respect anyone other than its own. Players feel that they are treated as commodities. "The ball-tampering incident ... can be seen as an aberration. It can be dismissed as the failure of a handful of players. "However, to think this would be mistaken. We have spoken with players who are reluctant to challenge the errant behaviour of their teammates - just in case it puts them off their game and leads to a loss." Every measure suggested by The Ethics Centre has either been accepted by CA's board or is under consideration, with the exception of a request that Test and ODI players are excused from playing Twenty20 Internationals to ensure they are available for at least two Sheffield Shield games and one grade game per summer.  

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