Time to ‘heal’ but CA ex­its con­tinue

Sport360 - - News - By Staff Re­porter @Sport360 ✉ ed­i­to­rial@sport360.com

The ex­o­dus at Cricket Aus­tralia grew on Wed­nes­day as two more top ex­ec­u­tives quit the em­bat­tled gov­ern­ing body af­ter a ball-tam­per­ing scan­dal and scathing re­view trig­gered an out­cry.

Team per­for­mance boss Pat Howard, who was due to leave next year, has brought for­ward his de­par­ture to next week, while broad­cast­ing chief Ben Amarfio left on Wed­nes­day, Cricket Aus­tralia said.

The lat­est de­par­tures come af­ter chair­man David Peever was forced out last week and for­mer Test cap­tain Mark Tay­lor quit as a di­rec­tor. For­mer CEO James Suther­land stepped down last month.

The ‘Sand­pa­per-gate’ scan­dal, where the team was caught us­ing sand­pa­per to al­ter the flight of the ball, also cost for­mer coach Dar­ren Lehmann his job and prompted lengthy bans for three play­ers.

Cricket Aus­tralia said the lat­est changes sig­nalled a “new chap­ter” un­der the lead­er­ship of in­com­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Roberts.

“I think it is im­por­tant that we give cricket a fresh start and we start look­ing for­ward so we that can heal,” Roberts told re­porters in Mel­bourne. “We are as trans­par­ent as we can be in this sit­u­a­tion,” he added when pressed for more de­tails about why the pair were leav­ing Cricket Aus­tralia.

“But I ask that we re­spect Pat and Ben and ev­ery­thing that they have brought to the game, and the pub­lic can know that we make these changes and hard de­ci­sions with real re­spect and sen­si­tiv­ity to our peo­ple. And be­cause of that I hope you un­der­stand I won’t be go­ing into de­tail.”

Roberts said there would be no fur­ther “sig­nif­i­cant change at the ex­ec­u­tive level in the months ahead”.

He said in an ear­lier state­ment it was “clear we need to deepen our re­la­tion­ships with fans, play­ers and the broader cricket com­mu­nity”, ac­knowl­edg­ing a “tur­bu­lent year in Aus­tralian cricket”.

Af­ter the sand­pa­per plot in March, then-cap­tain Steve Smith and deputy David Warner were banned for 12 months, and bats­man Cameron Ban­croft for nine months.

A damn­ing re­view found CA partly re­spon­si­ble for the in­ci­dent, say­ing an “ar­ro­gant” and “con­trol­ling” cul­ture led to play­ers cheat­ing in pur­suit of vic­tory.

Fall­ing on his sword: Pat Howard.

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