Somehow, the game lost its way. (AFP Photo/Marco Longari)
Somehow, the game lost its way. (AFP Photo/Marco Longari)

Review exposes mentality that corrupted cricket

PAYING winning bonuses to Australian players helped to corrupt the nation's cricket culture according to players and officials interviewed in a review.

The findings of a review by Simon Longstaff's Sydney Ethics Centre into Australian cricket is set to be released in some form before the home summer as Australia probes the reasons for the cultural meltdown that led to the ball tampering affair in South Africa.

It is understood some players and officials spoke out strongly against the "win at all costs'' nature which had permeated the team and said the introduction of winning bonuses in the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding was a mistake.

Some officials were known to mention that if a player needed winning bonuses to do their best for their country they should not have been chosen in the first place.

Several players have traced the team's recent fall from grace back to the Hobart Test in 2016-17 when Australia was hammered by South Africa for the fifth consecutive Test loss.

The shuddering nature of that defeat prompted Australia to seek a more abrasive playing edge and drop wicketkeeper Peter Nevill for the combative Matthew Wade, a decision many senior players objected to.

Matthew Wade selection was not without controversy. (Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Matthew Wade selection was not without controversy. (Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Some members of the Australian squad who have been strongly criticised for losing their moral compass in South Africa have claimed they felt under pressure to play a more aggressive, "in-your-face'' brand of cricket following the Hobart debacle.

The review is set to be released within a fortnight and after board member Mark Taylor initially hinted the findings might not be made public there has been a second thought that the credibility of the entire project may rest on full public disclosure.

Former Australian coach John Buchanan has endorsed the decision to make the review's finding public.

"For CA to win back support for everything, whether it be grassroots, sponsors and media, they have undertaken this review, and it needs to make an impact on the game and for that reasons it needs to be made as public as possible,'' Buchanan said.

"They need to show people they are not just talking but they are going to so something and be accountable for that. That whole accountability is something that needs to be underlined going forward.''

Get ready for cricket like never before. FREE Sport HD + Entertainment until the first 4K cricket ball as part of 2 months free on a 12 month plan. SIGN UP TODAY. T&Cs apply.