Review blasts Cricket Australia's win-at-all-costs approach

Review blasts Cricket Australia's win-at-all-costs approach

Skipper Smith and his deputy Warner were slapped with a one-year global ban while rookie Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months by Cricket Australia in March this year for their role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

He also said some players may have been fearful about giving negative feedback - which the review indicated was another problematic feature of Australian cricket culture.

As it stands, Lehmann and his key players Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft remain the only four individuals in Australian cricket to have accepted any accountability for the sandpaper storm in South Africa. "But to go to the point we did was a huge mistake".

STEVE Smith will expose the farcical nature of his year-long ban by heading off to play in the Arabian Desert on the same day as kick-off for Australia's showpiece Big Bash League.

Perhaps the greatest irony of David Peever's performance on Monday was that when confronted with accusations of "arrogance", the chairman refused to directly answer questions and instead determined that the review was never meant to be about "dwelling on the negatives".

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The review, to be made public on Monday, handed down a number of recommendations including the creation of an ethics commission to look at the governance of the game, and the establishment of a cricket council to discuss major issues in Australian cricket.

As quoted by Fox Sports Australia, the review reports found that, "There were frequent comments noting the enormous pressure on players always to win and the unacceptability of anything less than in all forms of the game".

Bancroft only has two months left to serve, while Smith and Warner were senior figures in a plan hatched to brazenly cheat at global level. "What I can say is when I engage with players in this new role, I'll be engaging with 100 per cent of them".

CA chairman David Peever said there is no chance that Smith and Warner will be available to return to worldwide or domestic cricket before April 2019, while Bancroft will remain banned until next January.

The review warned that the ball-tampering incident should not be seen as an aberration or the failure of a handful of players.

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"At Cricket Australia our goal is to unite and inspire communities through cricket", he said.

Lehmann, who is set for a commentary stint with a local radio station after coaching at Cricket Australia's "Centre of Excellence" academy in Brisbane, said his former employers could have done more to support him in the wake of Cape Town.

"If accountability is to be a hallmark of Australian cricket then it must be applied to all leaders, whether their primary arena is on, or off, the field of play".

"I know that all kids watching that around Australia, in any sport, would say "now I know that if I step out of line there's going to be a heavy penalty", remarked 1999 World Cup winning captain Waugh.

The report has made 42 recommendations, including setting up a new Ethics Committee and selecting players based on character as well as ability. Players, asked to "play the mongrel", could become men they did not want to be as a result of this, the report added. There could have been more help but they certainly didn't just leave us hanging either.

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