Seven months after the disgraceful ball-tampering scandal, an independent review into the entire incident has condemned an “arrogant” and “controlling” culture at Cricket Australia that led to players cheating in pursuit of victory.
As per a report in AFP, the independent review by the Sydney-based Ethics Centre accused Cricket Australia (CA) of only paying lip service to the spirit of the game and not doing anything for the moral guidance of players.
“Responsibility for that larger picture lies with CA and not just the players held directly responsible for the appalling incident at Newlands,” said the review, which was released on Monday.
Australian cricket was shaken to the core after cameras had caught Cameron Bancroft using a sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa earlier this year.
In a shocking press conference after the day's play, former Australia skipper Steve Smith had admitted that the entire ball-tampering saga was a deliberate plan from the “leadership group” of the side. Subsequently, Cricket Australia (CA) had banned Smith and his deputy David Warner for 12 months while Bancroft was handed a 9-month suspension from international cricket.
The scandal also saw head coach Darren Lehmann, CA chief executive James Sutherland and team performance boss Pat Howard resigning from their respective positions.
“The broad consensus amongst stakeholders is that CA does not consistently ‘live’ its values and principles,” it said.
“CA is perceived to say one thing and do another. The most common description of CA is as ‘arrogant’ and ‘controlling’.”
It said under such circumstances, the ball-tampering scandal was foreseeable but CA failed to act.
CA chairman David Peever said the review provided an opportunity for the governing body to “look in the mirror”.
“It has been a difficult and confronting time for everyone involved in Australian cricket, and for that I am sorry. Mistakes have been made, lessons have been learnt, and changes are and will continue to take place,” he said.
Peever also made it clear that the 12-month bans on Smith and Warner and a nine-month suspension on Bancroft would continue to stand.
(With AFP inputs)