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Cricket Australia labelled 'arrogant' and 'controlling' in review

By Opta

Sydney, October 29: Cricket Australia (CA) was described as "arrogant" and "controlling" in an independent organisational review released on Monday (October 29).

CA announced the review in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March, which led to the suspensions of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

Coach Darren Lehmann resigned earlier this year, while CA chief James Sutherland stepped down.

The CA board released the review – a summary of the views of 469 people, including current and past players, CA and state and territory cricket associations, employees and board members, the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA), umpires, sponsors and media – on Monday, along with a players' pact.

Part of the review, which CA commissioned The Ethics Centre (TEC) to produce, read: "With the exception of CA's own board and senior executives, the broad consensus amongst stakeholders is that CA does not consistently 'live' its values and principles.

"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. There is a feeling amongst some state and territory Associations that they are patronised while sponsors believe their value is defined solely in transactional terms.

"The group most critical of CA is the Australian Cricketers' Association. The ACA's negative assessment of CA is extreme, matched only by the positive assessment offered by the CA board."

The review found Australian cricket had "stumbled badly", with 42 recommendations put forward.

"Australian cricket has lost its balance … and has stumbled badly," the TEC noted in its findings.

"The reputation of the game of cricket, as played by men, has been tainted. Women's cricket remains unaffected.

"The leadership of CA should also accept responsibility for its inadvertent 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 lessen responsibility … especially not for those who voluntarily take on the mantle of leadership."

The TEC put forward 42 recommendations to CA, which rejected one – for Test and one-day teams to be excused from playing Twenty20 internationals to allow them to feature in domestic competitions.

In a statement, CA chairman David Peever apologised for the ball-tampering scandal.

"It has been a difficult and confronting time for everyone involved in Australian cricket, and for that I am sorry," he said. "Mistakes have been made, lessons have been learnt, and changes are and will continue to take place.

"Our response to the ball-tampering incident was necessarily tough, and we acted swiftly and decisively. At the same time, we voluntarily commissioned an independent organisational review into Australian cricket and launched, concurrently, a player review to establish a renewed behavioural charter."

CA said it supported 34 of the 42 recommendations, with only one rejected outright.

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    Story first published: Monday, October 29, 2018, 8:40 [IST]
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