Sports

Cricket Australia releases findings after 'extremely regrettable' ball-tampering scandal

Cricket Australia releases findings after 'extremely regrettable' ball-tampering scandal

Smith and Warner were suspended for 12 months for their role, while Bancroft - who was tasked to do the on-field tampering and was caught on camera - was handed a nine-month ban.

The report highlights concerns about the "commercialisation of cricket", "winning without counting the costs" and "multiple instances of disrespect running through CA", noting "perceived causes of the ball-tampering incident at Newlands significantly overlap with the perceived current state of cricket in Australia". It threw a spotlight on the entire Cricket Australia set-up - from the boardroom to the national men's team - and led to two reviews being set up, the findings of which will be released in Melbourne on Monday.

Lehmann, who stood down as Australian head coach shortly after the scandal, now believes Cricket Australia should consider shortening the bans to Smith, Warner and Bancroft.

Monday's scathing independent review, which painted a grim picture of Cricket Australia's culture and its link with the environment in which Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft erred, was impossible to spin as anything but a bouncer barrage. "The players have already lost time in the game, chances to play for Australia, endured public humiliation and faced massive financial penalties". "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".

Dyer also made mention of when former CA chief executive James Sutherland stormed into the Australian team's changeroom in Hobart after the heavy loss to South Africa in 2016 and told the cricketers they were not there to play but were there to "win".

With the findings of the independent review into the culture of Australian Cricket now out in the open, many have begun to ask questions as to why officials at Cricket Australia have seemed to escape any punishment.

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"There have been captains in the past who have been done for tampering with the ball and the penalties have been very lenient so there was no penalty for doing something wrong and it was always going to get to the case where it got out of control".

So as the fate of the tainted trio hangs in doubt, it would be interesting to see if Cricket Australia budges under pressure mounted by the cricketers.

"The players still have to put their hand up - which they have - and cop the bans on the chin and do their time". Smith, Warner and Bancroft have each missed three Tests and been sidelined for six months.

"They could have come up with something a lot better than that, or as I said, they need to sit down and nut some of these things out".

"If the culture was better, and the relationship between the players and the CA was better, there may well have been a different response".

Dyer said that should convince decision makers to immediately lift the bans on the three stars. We assure you. The players "get it". "It's not our cricket team, it's Australia's cricket team, and I think for a little while, we lost that".


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