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

Wednesday, 31 Oct, 2018

The ball-tampering incident shocked Australia and led to 12-month suspensions for team leaders Steve Smith and David Warner, and a nine-month ban for batsman Cameron Bancroft.

The review states that umpires should been given the authority to send-off players for poor behaviour, which include sledging as well and Cricket Australia will now have to ponder over it add to their laws. Speed said that the increasingly corporatised direction of CA, as outlined by Longstaff's report, had created a gulf in terms of genuine knowledge of the game and how it should be run at the Board level. "Women's cricket remains unaffected", the review states in its executive summary.

The review said: "A culture of disrespect for the opposition, as seen in the common practice of abusive sledging, runs through Australian domestic and worldwide cricket, to a degree not practiced by other nations".

It has been a hard and confronting time for everyone involved in Australian Cricket, and for that I am sorry.

The review was commissioned in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March.

Former global and Australian cricket boss Malcolm Speed has given the most damning criticism yet of David Peever, saying Cricket Australia deserves better. "Mistakes have been made, lessons have been learnt, and changes are and will continue to take place".

Bans imposed on Warner, Smith and Bancroft for their role in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal should be re-examined in light of systemic failings raised by the independent reviews into CA, the players union president Greg Dyer said.

While Cricket Australia fully accepts responsibility for what led to the ball-tampering fiasco, it remains firm that the punishments given to the trio would not be lifted. CA has supported both recommendations.

"I think potentially for a little bit, we got a little bit wrapped up in our own self-importance", Test captain Tim Paine said at a media conference.

Among many key findings is the identification of a set of "shadow values and principles" that outline the way CA actually operates, as opposed to the ideals expressed in the governing body's many codes and strategy documents.

Speed also indicated that a host of eminent leaders with a background in cricket would be open to joining the CA Board were it to be chaired by Taylor, who has served as a director across two separate stints since 2004 but has never assumed the role of leading it. Players with leadership aspirations have been recommended to undertake formal training, including to help improve their "moral courage".

It exposed a dark culture, also manifest in players' aggressive conduct toward opponents.

CA chairman David Peever on Monday rejected the possibility of reducing the bans, saying after releasing the review findings that "the sanctions were imposed by the board after a very full and thoughtful process and so the sanctions stand, as I said several weeks ago".