• Cricket Australia open to further scrutiny

    Cricket Australia chief executive officer Kevin Roberts implored anyone with evidence of ball tampering by the team prior to last year’s third Test Cape Town to volunteer information.

    Captain Steven Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft were suspended from international cricket after being found guilty of ball tampering during March 2018’s Test at Newlands.

    ‘If they’ve got any concerns about ball tampering or any concerns about any integrity issue in the game, we’ve invited them to report that through our anonymous integrity hotline or through other means that are available to them,’ said Roberts.

    ‘We haven’t had any such reports, so we won’t jump at shadows, but if anyone does report concerns about any integrity matter prior to ball tampering or whatever it may be, we’re serious about addressing that, and we have a process to address it.

    ‘We’re really serious about addressing any unresolved issues and we’re sincere in the way we’re going about that. So if there are any reports or allegations as opposed to innuendo, then we will investigate that thoroughly.

    ‘Certainly the investigation needed to be conducted swiftly, we needed to fulfill our commitment to field a team against South Africa the following week, and we didn’t know whether we’d need to fly 11 new players in to fill that team or no new players.

    ‘The ultimate answer was somewhere in between. So the investigation was absolutely fit for purpose, but we haven’t rested on those laurels. We’ve made repeated and extensive invitations to anyone to report any integrity matters or concerns about ball tampering ever since.’

    Earlier this week, former board director Mark Taylor conceded that Cricket Australia does not know how long the team were illegally tampering with match balls before the Newlands scandal.

    ‘All current and former employees, like any organisation, have confidentiality obligations. That’s not CA being heavy-handed, I’m sure people in the room here have had a look at your own employment agreements and clauses in there, so there’s nothing unusual about that. At the same time we don’t want to control or muzzle people in cricket,’ added Roberts.

    Bancroft’s ban ended late last year, while Warner and Smith will be allowed to play international cricket next month. Warner and Smith are currently playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals respectively in the Indian Premier League. Bancroft was recently announced Durham captain in English county competition.

    Photo: Getty Images

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