Cricket Australia reviews'confronting according to board member Mark Taylor

Cricket Australia has been described as arrogant and bent on winning at all costs in a review of its culture and governance commissioned after the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

This brings with it a ban of up to six Tests and 12 ODIs, unlike the one match handed to Smith and purely a fine for Bancroft (Warner wasn't punished by ICC).

Australia's former bowling coach Craig McDermott joined ex-coach Darren Lehmann in arguing that Cricket Australia must soften the bans.

"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. There is a feeling amongst some State and Territory Associations that they are patronised while sponsors believe their value is defined exclusively in transactional terms.

"CA does not handle situations well when it goes against them - they revert to bully tactics or worse, ostracising", a survey respondent said.


Sponsors stated that Cricket Australia sees their value exclusively in transactional terms. Warner and his wife weathered personalised abuse from spectators, abetted by South African ground officials, in the Test played before the ball-tampering scandal. The response from the players who did respond was that the bans were appropriate, generally.

The ACA argues that by the time Smith and Warner's bans end, they will have missed more cricket than if they had been given the harshest of penalties under International Cricket Council rulings. "We have seen the Australian Cricketers' Association (statement) and note they will be making a submission to the CA Board in the next 48 hours", a CA spokesman said today.

Waugh said Australia's internal system was such that the players had lost touch with reality, thinking they are larger than the sport. They were disconnected from the "grounding influence of the community".

"From a welfare point of view, it would be important they can come back and play the game they love and they have done it tough".

The board rejected a recommendation that Australia's elite players stop playing global Twenty20 cricket.


If Cricket Australia aren't prepared to open their doors now for a robust debate, will they ever? CA has supported both recommendations.

The investigations were led by the Ethics Centre's Simon Longstaff, who looked into Cricket Australia's culture, and by former Test batsman Rick McCosker, who examined the team's culture.

Cricket insiders have pointed out that potential legal action would not help improve the already dire relations between the ACA and CA, although Dyer maintains there has been a "thawing" in the toxic relationship of last year's pay dispute. CA has agreed to this.

That's not to say CA should automatically bend over and agree, but will they even give the topic the fair hearing it deserves? "Mistakes have been made, lessons have been learnt, and changes are and will continue to take place".

"It's not a hiccup, it's much more than that", Speed, who was chief executive of the Australian cricket board from 1997 until 2001 before serving a similar role at the global governing body, told ABC radio. Only the hardest of hearts would not have been moved by the tears shed by Smith at a press conference upon his return from South Africa.


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