World reacts to Aussie cricket ‘bulls***’
CRICKET Australia chairman David Peever is firmly in the gun after cricket greats slammed his refusal to step down following the release of independent cultural reviews into Australian cricket on Monday.
Peever's refusal to resign in the face of the damning reviews has overshadowed the outcry surrounding his own refusal to review the suspensions handed down to ball-tampering trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft in light of Cricket Australia's organisational failings.
Peever's refusal to publicly release the organisational review, chaired by The Ethics Centre's Dr Simon Longstaff, before he put his name forward for a second term as Cricket Australia chairman last week has been viewed around the globe as "arrogant" and underhanded.
The global view is backed up by the damning conclusions drawn from the report, which described Peever's administration as "arrogant", "dictatorial", "controlling", "disrespectful" and "bullying".
The Cricket Australia board of directors was the only pillar of Australian cricket left standing from the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal - and the only one left to accept responsibility for the circumstances that contributed to the moment Bancroft was busted with sandpaper in his pocket.
Former captain Smith, coach Darren Lehman, chief executive James Sutherland and high-performance manager Pat Howard have all moved on or announced their intent to move on.
Still, Peever dug his heels in during Monday's press conference.
"I accept as chairman of the board of Cricket Australia, I accept responsibility for what happened in South Africa but I am also very confident we are positioned to move forward from here," he said.
Other commentators believe his position is untenable, claiming Cricket Australia is incapable of effectively acting on the 42 recommendations made in the Longstaff Review while Peever remains at the helm.
The review found grave issues surrounding Cricket Australia's shift towards a corporate business at the expense of traditional cricket values and the playing of the game.
Former Australian test quick Geoff Lawson led the condemnation of Peever. declaring the review makes it clear that Cricket Australia needs a cricket-focused chairman.
Lawson nominated current board member Mark Taylor and Rick McCosker, the author of the review into the Australian cricket team culture, as ideal candidates to replace Peever.
"We need a serious cricketing figurehead, not a corporate cricket figurehead," Lawson told Fox Sports News.
"The business of cricket has overwhelmed the playing of cricket."
Others were much more scathing of Peever's performance during Monday's press conference.
Many commentators, including former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, were much more scathing of Peever.
Former England captain Michael Atherton wrote in a column for The Times that Peever will be lucky to survive.
"It is hard to see how David Peever, the chairman, can remain in his post," Atherton wrote.
"Bizarrely it was only last week that Peever was re-elected as chairman, odd timing given the impending release of two ethics reviews that were clearly going to focus on the role of his organisation.
"Given the tenor of the report, which provides gruesome context to the ball-tampering furore in Cape Town in March, Peever will be lucky to survive."
Peever's refusal to resign also flows directly into the other major point of contention resulting from the reviews - the suspensions handed to Smith, Warner and Bancroft.
Those three have all paid a terrible price for their deliberate act of cheating. Peever has admitted to failings and paid for none of them.
The report's findings that the win-at-all-costs culture of Cricket Australia directly contributed to the ball-tampering scandal have led to widespread calls for Smith, Bancroft and Warner to be allowed to play in this summer's Big Bash and Sheffield Shield competitions.
More than 14 months after signing a peace deal to end the pay dispute, Cricket Australia (CA) and the players' union are now at loggerheads over bans resulting from the Cape Town cheating scandal.
Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) president Greg Dyer, perhaps the most vocal and consistent critic of the bans, said in a statement that "independently verified contributing factors must now be taken into consideration and the penalties reduced".
CA chairman David Peever had already rejected that notion, noting "the sanctions were imposed by the board after a very full and thoughtful process and so the sanctions stand, as I said several weeks ago."
Dyer, who remarked earlier this year that "justice which is rushed can sometimes be flawed", and ACA chief executive Alistair Nicholson are expected to make a case for the bans to be softened during a press conference on Tuesday.
- with AAP