David Warner was suspended for his role in the ball tampering scandal.
David Warner was suspended for his role in the ball tampering scandal.

Wanted: Good blokes who can bat and bowl

A PUSH for players to be selected based on character as well as skill sits among 42 recommendations in the Longstaff review aimed at delivering Australia cricketers it can be proud of.

Calls for a one-strike policy for on-field sledging and naming and shaming of offenders are also options for change being considered by Cricket Australia, which only dismissed one idea out of hand - the potential for players to opt out of playing for the national T20 team if games clashed with Sheffield Shield games, as they did last week.

As the spotlight turned on the behaviour of everyone in Australian cricket, CA chairman David Peever also said he was open to the idea of giving the Allan Border medal - awarded annually to Australia's best performed cricketer - voted on by players, officials and media, a "fairest" component.

 

David Warner was suspended for his role in the ball tampering scandal.
David Warner was suspended for his role in the ball tampering scandal.

 

The report revealed the past two winners, Steve Smith and David Warner, also had the most amount of international code of conduct breaches in the Australian team, which again painted the picture of a culture where performance was rated above all else.

"The intent is clear, we need to move closer to a best-and-fairest approach," he said.

"How (they change it) is what we need to work through with key constituents."

The management of players coming in and out of the national teams will also be reviewed after one unnamed player used the review to lash the current system.

"You can get dropped by phone," the player said in the report.

A review of CA's high performance unit was suggested with a focus on searching for "highly skilled, ethical players" who had the maturity to make good decisions when the heat was on.

In its response CA said a player's character was already considered when making a selection.

When asked if poor player behaviour on-field could lead to them being dropped in the new world order, Test captain Tim Paine said it wouldn't get that far.

"If it gets to that stage then (coach) Justin (Langer) and I aren't doing our job correctly," he said.

But Paine also said a cricket game would never be played in silence.

"You never are going to have a game of cricket played were opposition don't speak to each other," he said.

"We know what's right, what's wrong, what Australian cricket expects of us and we'll be holding each other accountable."

 

Australia Test captain Tim Paine and co-vice-captain Josh Hazlewood present the peer review into Australian cricket.
Australia Test captain Tim Paine and co-vice-captain Josh Hazlewood present the peer review into Australian cricket.

 

THE ETHICS CENTRE'S KEY CRICKET RECOMMENDATIONS:

The Ethics Centre was commissioned to review Cricket Australia after the South Africa ball-tampering scandal.

* The review has 42 recommendations - 10 for Australian cricket, seven for the national men's team and the rest for CA.

* While the review says Australian cricket "has lost its balance and has stumbled badly" it says the reputation of women's cricket remains unaffected.

* The review surveyed current and former players, CA staff and board members and State and territory officials. Fans were not included in the survey.

KEY AUSTRALIAN CRICKET RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Australian cricket establish a three-person ethics commission, which would have no formal powers. Its purpose would be to hold everyone in Australian cricket "accountable to the ethical foundations for the game".

2. The establishment of the Australian Cricket Council, a consultative body to meet twice a year.

3. Require CA to set up a mechanism for consulting with fans.

5. Player honours, such as the Allan Border Medal, take into account character and behaviour as well as performance.

7. CA and the Australian Cricketers' Association to start a process where they establish a constructive working relationship within 30 days.

9. Umpires have the power, after one informal warning, to send off players in Test, Sheffield Shield and grade matches.

 

Cricket Australia chairman David Peever during the press conference.
Cricket Australia chairman David Peever during the press conference.

 

KEY NATIONAL TEAM RECOMMENDATIONS

12. The current performance bonus is converted so it recognises contributions to the game such as positive relationships with fans and sponsors.

14-15. The vice-captaincy is de-coupled from being the heir apparent to the captaincy. Players with leadership capacity have formal leadership training.

16. Players on CA contracts encouraged and enabled to have active involvement with Shield and grade cricket.

17. Test and one-day players be excused from playing international T20 cricket so they can play in Shield and grade matches (this was the only recommendation that CA rejected).

KEY CRICKET AUSTRALIA RECOMMENDATIONS

19. CA leadership accept its share of responsibility for the circumstances that gave rise to the ball-tampering scandal.

28-29. CA amend its anti-harassment code so that the definition of harassment includes sledging. Also, CA makes explicit a general prohibition against bullying conduct.

37. High Performance Unit staff are banned from industrial negotiations with players. CA says this recommendation is under consideration.

41. Selectors be required to take into account a player's character as well as their skills when picking teams.