Brisbane – Australia’s
top cricket chiefs on Friday ruled out stepping down after a
ball-tampering scandal that shocked the nation, saying it was “not the
time for a witch-hunt” as a review into player conduct was announced.
The sport has been engulfed in one of its biggest crises after former
captain Steve Smith, his deputy David Warner and batsman Cameron
Bancroft attempted to alter the ball’s condition in the third Test in
South Africa last month.
Smith and Warner were banned for a year and Bancroft for nine months,
with the trio accepting their sanctions on Wednesday and Thursday.
Critics have questioned whether Cricket Australia’s role in the
affair should come under scrutiny, but chairperson David Peever said he did
not intend to step down and that chief executive James Sutherland’s job
was not in jeopardy.
“James Sutherland’s position is not under review, he continues to
retain the full support of the board,” Peever told reporters in
“In respect of my own position, no, I do not intend to step down, and
that hasn’t been suggested by the board. Our task now is to work
through this problem and make sure we come through and cricket comes
through it much more strongly.
“I think we will all come under the microscope about what is
happening in the organisation. But this is not the time for a
Peever said the governing body was “moving forward” with an
independent review announced last week to “have a broad remit” and look
into wider cultural and organisational issues in the sport.
But the players’ union the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA),
which has criticised the bans as disproportionate compared to previous
cases, said the review was “far from independent”.
“CA establishing its own review, selecting the reviewer and then
having the findings of the review issued to itself – particularly as it
relates to its own corporate culture – is far from transparent,” ACA
president Greg Dyer said in a statement late Friday.
The ACA has said the inquiry should involve the union and CA, so both bodies could jointly contribute to its outcomes.
Peever said former ex-Test opener Rick McCosker would also chair a
separate player and former-player driven process to consider a charter
setting out “standards of behaviour and expectations of Australian
“It is anticipated that this process will include assessments as to
whether changes to codes and standards governing player conduct are
required,” said Peever, a former managing director of mining giant Rio
All three players have been dumped by sponsors as a result of the
scandal while Cricket Australia has been dropped by its top sponsor,
fund manager Magellan.