Can Cricket Australia ever fully recover from the cheating scandal?

Jason Andrews Roar Pro

By Jason Andrews, Jason Andrews is a Roar Pro

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    Cricket is this country’s national sport, no doubt. In the winter you either play NRL or AFL, but everybody plays cricket come off-season time.

    At the moment cricket in this country is facing the biggest scandal since the infamous Trevor Chappell underarm bowling incident, which I would like to remind everybody was a legal move. In an article in the Courier Mail last month Chappell stated that he was happy yet unhappy that he was no longer the most hated man in Australian cricket and his incident was back in 1981. He never really recovered from it.

    This recent scandal with Steve Smith, Davod Warner and Cameron Bancroft was an example of cheating that will tarnish the reputation of Cricket Australia for quite a while yet. The public may move on, but international cricketing bodies will not forget so easily.

    Cricket Australia will be watched like a hawk for at least a couple of seasons until they prove that this was a one-off incident. We all hope that it will be.

    Smith and Warner both received 12-month bans and lost many sponsorship deals, while Bancroft copped a nine-month suspension. Although England’s Surrey coach, Michael Di Venuto, who previously worked with the Australian team, has confirmed his intent to obtain services of Smith and Warner, a lot of work needs to be done at home.

    With the resignation of Darren Lehmann as Australia cricket coach, the hunt is on for a replacement. The contenders are Justin Langer, Jason Gillespie, Ricky Pointing and Brad Haddin. While rumours and social media suggest that Langer is the frontrunner for the job, it might not work out that way.

    Darren Lehmann

    (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

    Even once a new coach is found and Australia starts to resume business as usual, the question has to be asked: how long is it going to take to recover from the ball-tampering scandal? They say that a reputation takes a lifetime to build and an instant to destroy; well, Australian cricket has certainly not done their reputation any favours.

    The Super League war – not a scandal, but it certainly did not do the game any favours – back in the 1990s for rugby league was over 20 years ago and the game still has not recovered. The aftermath left a bitter taste in many mouths, with lots of long-term friends amongst fans and players going their separate ways, and to this day they remain unreconciled.

    It would be terrible to see our national game go down the same path as rugby league.

    I have no quick fixes for this nor can I wave a magic wand and make it like it never happened, but I ask this question of the public: will Cricket Australia ever recover from the ball tampering scandal, and if so, how long will it take?

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    The Crowd Says (18)

    • April 21st 2018 @ 9:47am
      Paul said | April 21st 2018 @ 9:47am | ! Report

      hi Jason, I think you’ve over exaggerated this issue and the impact on Australian cricket moving forward. We’re obviously heading into winter which will help because most fans will not concern themselves with cricket for another 5 months or so, which will allow the public to calm down and get behind the side for next summer.

      You’re 100% right, Australia will be under scrutiny for any wrong/illegal play, but so will every other team. If I’m involved in a national team for any cricketing nation, I’d be making sure the players aren’t going to do anything stupid, on or off the field.

      On that note, it will be interesting to see how the ECB handles the fallout from the Stokes incident. I don’t think it matters which way the verdict goes, this was a way worse look for cricket than the ball tamoering incident.

      Cricket won’t go down the same path as Super League and you can’t compare the two. In the recent instance, 3 players decided to do something incredibly stupid, were caught and punished. Their reputations are currently at a low level but Australian cricket as a whole is not so bad, because action was taken. A better comparison is with players who have been called for chucking in the past 50 years and the most recent of these was Murali. Yes it was a scandal at the time and many, including me, still think he threw the ball, but it was only one player, not a whole team.

      What Australia need now is the national team wins games, while playing attractive cricket. This will quickly take peoples minds off the SA issue.

      • Roar Pro

        April 21st 2018 @ 12:06pm
        Jason Andrews said | April 21st 2018 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        Hi Paul thanks for reading, as I said in the article, the public have the footy seasons to forget the ball tampering scandal but the ICC doesn’t it works 365. As you said certain players or countries have been branded checkers for near 50 years. My question is how long is Australian cricket going to be label cheaters???

        • April 21st 2018 @ 3:45pm
          Paul said | April 21st 2018 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

          We’ll be labeled as cheats for as long as it takes for us to win a lot of games in a row without cheating or doing something else that could bring the team into disrepute. Its very easy to kick the side when it’s down, but opposition sides will hopefully be too busy trying to work out how to beat us to worry about calling us names.

          It all starts in the ODI series in England. You can be sure the crowds over there will give the team a huge serve. Would be great if we won the series 5 nil.

      • April 25th 2018 @ 3:34pm
        Philip O'Donovan said | April 25th 2018 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

        How possible can the Stoke’s incident be worse for cricket.Terrible as it was,it occurred off the pitch and one individual involved.The Australian captain,vice captain and opening batsman conspired to cheat with the possible acquiescence of the coach.Then lied to the umpires and lied again in the press conference.Then proceeded to cry like babies in the ensuing press conferences.
        I somehow think this was a lot worse for Cricket.

    • April 21st 2018 @ 9:48am
      concerned supporter said | April 21st 2018 @ 9:48am | ! Report

      Author,
      What a useless article.
      “n the winter you either play NRL or AFL,”
      Ever heard of Soccer & Rugby?
      “The Super League war – not a scandal, but it certainly did not do the game any favours – back in the 1990s for rugby league was over 20 years ago and the game still has not recovered. ”
      Haven’t recovered my bum.The NRL currently have broadcasting rights contract of AUD 1.8 million over 5 years.
      Massive increase since 1996.
      Back to school for you.

      • April 21st 2018 @ 11:16am
        Dexter The Hamster said | April 21st 2018 @ 11:16am | ! Report

        There is a nasty streak that runs through you for some reason. Cant you add criticism without insult?

        • April 21st 2018 @ 11:54am
          concerned supporter said | April 21st 2018 @ 11:54am | ! Report

          Dexter,
          You must be related to the Author.Go back to reading Israel Folou articles.

      • Roar Pro

        April 21st 2018 @ 12:17pm
        Jason Andrews said | April 21st 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

        The super league war cost the game six franchises (Steelers, bears, reds, rams, crushers and the mariners) most important losing our Wa and Sa teams and no league presence has been seen in those states since, the lost revenue for the game and with the introduction of the a-league the increasingly popular ufc many league fans have been lost to other sports. Just because you watch footy in your living room doesn’t mean you are making the game money, the game makes it through people going to live games, buying merchandise and club membership. The NRL has not had the WA and SA market for over twenty years.

        Also “n the winter” with that grammar I recommend you go back to school or start, one of the two

        • April 21st 2018 @ 12:33pm
          concerned supporter said | April 21st 2018 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

          Author.
          The major portion of income derived by both the NRL & AFL is from Broadcasting Revenue.
          “n the winter”, mistake yes, cut and paste without wearing glasses, more of a spelling mistake though rather than grammar, don’t you think?

          • April 21st 2018 @ 4:07pm
            Paul said | April 21st 2018 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

            Just to clarify things, I’m not related to the author but there are large elements of truth in his statement about the damage Super League did and still does.

            There have been literally hundreds of articles moaning about the way the NRL is or is not managing the expansion of the game and much of this inactivity can be traced back to the Super League saga and the after effects.

            The Clubs were strong before the split but have become even more so in terms of having a huge say in what will happen with the game. They are dictating to the NRL about expansion and as it stands, none want to move in NSW.

            Likewise with the rules. Super League had things like unlimited interchange and super fast play the balls so when the parties merged again, the NRL tried to come up with a formula that would promote the most attractive football and once again, it was the Clubs who had a major say in that.

            There needs to be a balance between the administrators and the Clubs, which has been on a bias towards the Clubs since Super League which is very unhealthy for the game as a whole. Yes a significant amount of money is generated by the Clubs, but they want the lions share, so the amount trickling down to juniors and out bush, is way below what;s needed to keep the game flourishing.

            All of these things are results of the Super League incident. Maybe they might have occurred anyway, but Super League came along and sped things up.

            • April 21st 2018 @ 5:14pm
              concerned supporter said | April 21st 2018 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

              Paul,
              Although I don’t agree with all you say about what happened 20 years ago, I must give you accolades for your efforts and endeavours.
              Cheers

    • April 21st 2018 @ 7:38pm
      Lara said | April 21st 2018 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

      Is Haddin a candidate for head coach…..holy crap.

    • April 22nd 2018 @ 3:41pm
      JayG said | April 22nd 2018 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

      I feel the issue is blown out of all proportion. To put it briefly, 2 players decided to sandpaper a cricket ball , a third knew something was up but could not be bothered to intervene. It is hardly the scandal of the century. South African and Indian cricket recovered from match-fixing scandals (I think a FAR more serious problem). Pakistani cricket has recovered from so many scandals it is hard to list them out. A British cricketer is under criminal proceedings for assault and neither the ECB nor the British public seem to be very concerned. In India, a cricketer was recently offered an international contract while under criminal proceedings for domestic assault – again neither the BCCI nor the Indian public seem to be bothered.

      It is true that these players crossed a line. That is not to say that other teams and other players in international cricket are not very close to the line anyway. The entire issue was made into something MUCH larger than what it actually is by busybody politicians, pious ex-players and hysterical social media response (it would be interesting to find out how many of the hysterical social media commenters are actually Australian)

      Yes, Australia will not be allowed to indulge in sanctimonious judgement over other teams in the near future. Yes, the Australian cricketers will need to develop a tough skin over the next few years to take sledging from other teams they dished it out to in the past. Its not the end of the world. As Paul mentions, if we demonstrate our intent in the field with fair and good cricket, we will be fine.

    • Roar Pro

      April 22nd 2018 @ 7:18pm
      Jason Andrews said | April 22nd 2018 @ 7:18pm | ! Report

      nice evaluation mate, well done. But cricket was always the one game where Australia had no wrong doing as we were still consider gentleman that played by the rules. but this has completed stuff that up. Its easy to look at the countries that cant keep themselves out of trouble as normal activity form then but for us we have always kept our nose clean and now its full of dirt. it will be a long recovery.

    • April 23rd 2018 @ 12:39am
      JayG said | April 23rd 2018 @ 12:39am | ! Report

      I doubt the Australian cricket team has exemplified the gentleman’s game for quite some time. Is this not the focus of the review into the team culture? We have been arrogant, boorish and badly behaved and have been passing judgement on other teams sitting on our high horse. I think that is part of the reason the social media response was so loud. Everyone and their neighbor across the cricket playing world saw it as an opportunity to get their kick in. The British were probably “avenging” Broad’s treatment, the Indians to the DRS incident, the South Africans to the treatment of Faf and Quinton. Is it not surprising that we apparently have personal rivalries with all the top 5 teams? Gentlemen was surely not the word other teams were using to describe us.

      What you are right about is that we had not been caught cheating before. However, you are doing other teams a disservice by describing them as not being able to keep themselves out of trouble. South African and Indian cricket were clean before the match fixing scandal and both recovered and arguably are better sides than they ever were.

      I feel certain Australian cricket will recover. I will go far as to say that I think the players involved will recover too. People and organizations are not the sum of their mistakes. I agree with you, though, that it is unlikely either Australian cricket or the players involved will be the same as they were before the scandal. However, if they emerge the same, it would defeat the entire point of this exercise of furore, sanctions, apologies etc. Hopefully, they will emerge better, stronger and nicer.

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