Wisden

The independent voice of cricket

JOIN THE CLUB

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
LEARN MORE
Latest maagazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99

SUBSCRIBE
LIVE SCORES
News

Cricket Australia an ‘arrogant’ and ‘controlling’ body – Review findings released

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Cricket Australia is “arrogant” and “controlling”, and is ridden with divisions between the board, the state associations, and the Australian Cricketers Association, according to the findings of the independent organisational review conducted in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal in March.

CA released the results of the reviews – Simon Longstaff from The Ethics Centre conducted the organisational review, and a concurrent players review was also held, led by former Test batsman Rick McCosker – on Monday, October 29, in which the body’s leadership was blamed for overlooking the fact that cricket was not a business.

The review said cricket’s participants were judged by their adherence to the spirit of the game as much as they are by wins and losses, and that in CA’s attempt to corporatise, centralise and improve team performance, it had missed that.

Cameron Bancroft, David Warner and Steve Smith were banned for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal

Cameron Bancroft, David Warner and Steve Smith were banned for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal

It also identified the decay of the national men’s team that led to David Warner and Cameron Bancroft attempting to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper in Cape Town, with the support of then captain Steve Smith.

Women’s cricket, the review said, was not affected.

There review panel outlined 42 recommendations to reverse the slide, and David Peever, the CA chairman, said the body “is committing to enacting and exploring further the recommendations and actioning where appropriate.”

The prominent recommendations include the formation of an ethics committee to oversee the ethical health of the game in Australia as well as the implementation of an Australian Cricket Council, through which the chairs of CA, the state associations, the ACA and the Cricket Umpires Association could hold open discussions on all matters.

The review panel also recommended CA to find “a mechanism for consulting with cricket’s fan base” so that the views of the fans can be taken into account during Australian Cricket Council meetings.

Other recommendations include asking state and territory associations to ensure a consistent ethical foundation for all Australian cricket, honours such as the Allan Border Medal to take into account a player’s character and behaviour as well, and the CA and the ACA to commence within 30 days a process by which they can have “a constructive working relationship”.

“Australian cricket has lost its balance … and has stumbled badly. The reputation of the game of cricket, as played by men, has been tainted. Women’s cricket remains unaffected,” the review states in its summary.

“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.”

“While good intentions might reduce culpability – they do not lesson [sic] responsibility … especially not for those who voluntarily take on the mantle of leadership. In our opinion, CA’s fault is not that it established a culture of ‘win at all costs’.

“Rather, it made the fateful mistake of enacting a program that would lead to ‘winning without counting the costs’. It is this approach that has led, inadvertently, to the situation in which cricket finds itself today – for good and for ill.

“It has also given rise to a series of ‘shadow values and principles’ – a set of implicit norms that are often driving conduct that is at odds with the requirements of CA’s formal Ethical Framework, How We Play, and The Spirit of Cricket.”

The full review can be read here.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
LEARN MORE
Latest maagazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99

SUBSCRIBE