Legend shocked at icon’s damning ‘silence’

THE damning findings of the Cricket Australia review continue to stir up a storm as cricket greats around the country line up to put the boot in.

The review, led by executive director of The Ethics Centre Simon Longstaff, concluded cricket’s governing body had becoming “controlling and arrogant” in its attempt to reign supreme in world cricket.

A “win at all costs” culture was said to have infiltrated the game, culminating in the ball tampering fiasco in South Africa in March.

Former Aussie off-spinner Greg Matthews blasted Cricket Australia on Tuesday, claiming the organisation was “unanswerable” and became a monopoly in Australian sport.

“It’s answerable to no-one. The people who are responsible for the state of Australian cricket at the moment, black and white, are the people running the game today.”

Matthews, a board member for the Australian Cricketers Association focusing on retired players’ futures, said he was shocked at how little past Test players had done to better cricket’s deteriorating culture.

“I’m not speaking on behalf of the ACA. I’m speaking as an ex-Test player,” he continued. “Mark Taylor was the greatest captain I played with on a cricket field, but the silence (now) is deafening. Where has be been for the last two decades?

“Last year I saw Kevin Roberts (new Cricket Australia CEO) at the Gabba. I said, ‘Brother, you’ve got the players’ back on this one don’t you?’ He put his right hand on my shoulder and said, ‘Mo, you know me. I’ve got the players’ back.’

“Well, Kevvie, you did a fantastic job, congratulations at the state of the game.”

Matthews’ spray came after ACA president Greg Dyer criticised CA, accusing head office of enforcing the notorious “win at all costs” attitude with an iron fist.

Calls for Steve Smith to return early have thrown an extra spanner in the works as Cricket Australia fights through an ugly culture storm.Source:News Corp Australia

“Longstaff talks at length about those additional pressures,” Dyer told The Daily Telegraph. “I’ll reference one particular example — when a chief executive walks into a changeroom and says, ‘Players, you’re not here to play cricket, you’re here to win.’

“Personally … I witnessed (unsportsmanlike) behaviours over a period of time and it was very clear on-field aggression was moving down a path that I personally wasn’t comfortable with.”

The ACA called for the tamper trio’s bans to be lifted immediately, insisting they had been “punished enough” for their mistake. The union rested the blame equally on CA and concluded the “new evidence” supplied by the Longstaff review was grounds enough to lift the year long bans for skipper Steve Smith and deputy David Warner and the nine month suspension dished out to Cameron Bancroft.

But not everyone was in the Players Association’s camp when the crud hit the fan.

Former Aussie stars Simon O’Donnell and Simon Katich scolded Dyer’s appraisal of the situation, suggesting a repeal of the bans would dig a deeper grave during an already chaotic period of Australian cricket.

“You can’t run sport by negotiation. Cricket has gone too far that way. Listening to Greg Dyer saying, ‘You’ve got to roll these bans back’, I wonder what role the Cricketers Association played in the whole culture aspect of where the players are at,” O’Donnell said on SEN’s Afternoons with Andy Maher Tuesday.

Katich called out the potential hypocrisy in bringing back Smith and Warner to aid the struggling Test side, who returned winless from the UAE under new captain Tim Paine.

“They admitted what they did was wrong, and they blatantly cheated,” the former opening batsman said.

“They’ll earn a lot more respect that way than if the ban gets shortened … because, realistically, if the bans get shortened it’s like the review said — it’s a win-at-all costs mentality.”


Tubby knows Australian cricket like no other.Source:AFP

Former Australian Cricket Board chairman Malcolm Speed has urged Mark Taylor to usurp chairman David Peever, who he describes as a “corporate world” figure, at CA.

He said Taylor, a beloved captain of Australia throughout the 90s, was an “outstanding” man and wholeheartedly backed him to take over the top spot.

“I have been friends with the recent chairmen of Australian cricket. David is the first to have come out of the corporate world rather than out of the cricket world and I think in this crisis that’s what’s shown here,” Speed said on ABC radio.

“I’d like to see Mark Taylor stand up as chairman of Cricket Australia.

“He’s on the board, he’s been there for quite a long time and there is a bit of an outcry that the whole of the board must go.

“I don’t agree with that, there are some very good people on that board who work hard, who have good judgment.”

Time for a board putsch. The chairman must resign. https://t.co/RfiBlnX2Rh


Former Aussie wicketkeeper and chairman of selectors Rod Marsh said professionalism in the world of modern sport was killing the fun for players, reflecting on his time behind the stumps during one of the golden eras of Aussie cricket.

“We had fun. Sadly, that is what is missing today. It’s that professional that it’s really taken a lot of the characters out of the game,” he said on Macquarie Sports Radio.

“(Players) say, ‘God, I wish we played in your era.’ They’d be a lot poorer (laughs), but they’d be rich, if you know what I mean.”

The 96-Test representative said he “didn’t think Cricket Australia came out too well” after Monday’s review and simply gave Australia a kick in the bum to perform.

He also agreed with the ACA in pushing for a cutback on Smith and Warner’s bands.

“We need a win, my god we need a win. I’m pleased with what the ACA said, the boys (Smith, Warner and Bancroft) have got to come back.”

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