Live: Fuse lit in cricket civil war

THE Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) has responded to the damning cultural reviews released by Cricket Australia (CA) yesterday.

President Greg Dyer and chief executive Alistair Nicholson fronted the press on Tuesday to reinforce calls for David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft to have their bans for ball tampering overruled.

The Longstaff review paints a damning picture of the Cricket Australia culture and the impact it had on the way the Australian cricket team conducted itself on the field. It also found the Cricket Australia culture to be “arrogant” and “dictatorial” and also accused the governing body of “bullying” in a 145-page document released on Monday.

Also included in the findings was an acknowledgment the players weren’t the only ones to blame for the ball tampering controversy in South Africa, placing part of the blame on the toxic culture emanating from head office.

READ: Australian cricket’s dark underbelly

Dyer said that should convince decision makers to immediately lift the bans on the three stars. Warner and Smith were suspended from state and international cricket for 12 months and Bancroft was rubbed out for nine, but CA chairman David Peever and new CEO Kevin Roberts have said that won’t happen.

“The ACA calls for the lifting of the bans imposed on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft,” Dyer said. “They should do it.”

Dyer said “basic fairness”, “decency” and “natural justice demand that the penalty be reduced”.

“These men have been contrite enough. Let them play,” Dyer said.

Dyer and Nicholson said the “new evidence” presented by the review that the players weren’t the only ones at fault should force CA’s hand and pave the way for Smith and Co. to return to the field.

Dyer said the initiative to campaign for the stars’ return is being driven by the ACA and not the players.

The ACA wants Smith and Warner back.Source:AFP

Only 48 of the 150 current male and female players who were sent the cultural survey completed it and only nine former players did the same.

The astonishing lack of responses to surveys issued to players may simply have been a silent protest into the administrations intervention into the Aussie cricket team’s dressing room. If so, it has had the exact opposite effect, according to veteran cricket journalist Robert Craddock.

He said the failure of the current players to mount a case in support of banned captain Steve Smith and ball-tampering architect David Warner through their surveys killed any chance of their suspensions being reviewed.

READ: Damning statistic killed Smith return

“They did a hell of a lot of interviews, but significantly the player response was down,” Craddock told Fox Sports News.

“Only 14 of the 42 players who were sent a survey filled it in. That didn’t help Smith and Warner in their bans. The response from the players who did respond was that the bans were appropriate, generally.

“Had there been a landslide of protest about their bans it could have really helped those two.”

The relationships between CA and the ACA became strained during last year’s volatile pay dispute. The ACA — backed publicly by the players — wanted to maintain a shared revenue model while CA wanted to abandon it and introduce set salaries. The players and ACA eventually won out.

More to come …

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