Cricket Australia accused of creating cheating culture

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Sydney, Oct 29 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA) has been accused of creating a “win-at-all-costs” environment which led to a recent cheating scandal and the reputation of one of the country’s most loved sports being damaged.

An independent review released on Monday called CA “arrogant and controlling” and suggested that steps be taken to make sure that the ethics of the game are being upheld by the governing body, report Xinhua news agency.

In March, three players including captain, Steve Smith and vice captain David Warner received 12 month bans for ball tampering during a test match against South Africa.

The incident was a blow for fans already disillusioned by recent poor behaviour which differs greatly from that of a game historically defined by it’s sportsmanship, and led many to question the state of play.

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For this review, players were interviewed and surveys were conducted, with anonymous respondents directing criticism at CA.

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

“The core complaint is that the organisation does not respect anyone other than its own,” the review stated.

Additionally, the report recommended that player behaviour be considered during team selection, stating that “selectors be required to take account of a player’s character as well as their skills as a cricketer when making a selection.”

Smith and Warner are two of the top performers on the team with Smith considered among the greatest batsmen of all time, however even before the ball tampering scandal the pair had a reputation for leading a volatile team.

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Following the release, players responded by revealing a “pact” which they hope will give those at all levels of Australian cricket words of guidance during the upcoming summer — a season which for many is defined by the sport.

The pact says, “we recognize how lucky we are to play this great game. We respect the game and all of its traditions. We want to make all Australians proud.”

–IANS

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