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The ball tampering saga

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Joined: 09 Sep 2011


PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 12:06 pm
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Crisis plan: Cricket Australia briefs PR gurus as hostile England looms

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/crisis-plan-cricket-australia-briefs-pr-gurus-as-hostile-england-looms-20190522-p51q5o.html

Quote:
...
CA's head of public affairs, Karina Keisler, is flying to London this week to meet with boutique and larger PR firms, including Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Head office wants to give team management access to public relations experts with contacts in the UK media who they can turn to during the anticipated backlash.
...

Foster's, which is marketed as an Australian beer and owned by South African and British conglomerate SABMiller, has released a commercial in which an Australian applies sandpaper to a cricket ball.
...

"I hate cheating and that is what they did, they cheated," Botham said.

"One of the players captains my county and I'll have to show him that Foster's advert where the Aussie lads are taking phone calls for advice while rubbing a ball with sandpaper."
...



[Comment: Has Botham ever said anything about the rampant cheating of Michael Vaughan?]
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 11:52 pm
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Mints, sun cream ... the full monty: Panesar admits to ball tampering

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/mints-sun-cream-the-full-monty-panesar-admits-to-ball-tampering-20190525-p51r5u.html

Quote:
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"We all tried to change the condition of the ball, because reverse swing has such a huge impact," Panesar wrote in his autobiography, The Full Monty
...

The spinner, who featured in the Ashes-winning series in 2009 and 2010-11, said he also used the zip on his trousers to rough up the ball and admits his actions were probably against the spirit of the game.

"Whether we broke the laws depends on how you interpret them," he said.

"We found that mints and sun cream had an effect on the saliva, and that helped the ball to reverse.

"I might also have 'accidentally' caught the ball on the zip of my trouser pocket to rough it up a little.

"That was probably a hairline fracture of the spirit of the game, even if the laws said you were allowed to 'use your uniform'."

...




[Comment: "Depends on how you interpret them"?? Of course it was illegal. It's not surprising that they were cheating. Why would they stop just because Marcus Trescothick was no longer in the side? He wasn't the mastermind, any more than Panesar was.]
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:49 pm
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Intrigue as Eddings reappointed as CA chairman

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/intrigue-as-eddings-reappointed-as-ca-chairman-20190602-p51ts4.html

Quote:
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... CA also confirmed ... that ... Richard Freudenstein had joined the board as the state director for NSW, replacing Mark Taylor.
...

In a highly-politicised sphere, it's understood some CV officials had thought Eddings had not done enough for grassroots cricket.

CA board members Michelle Tredenick and John Harden were due to step down at the annual general meeting later this year but have been unanimously endorsed to return.

Nominations committee chair Jacquie Hey said Eddings had made a great contribution since taking charge in difficult circumstances.
...

Freudenstein is a former chief executive of Foxtel and had been chief of News Digital Media – the digital division of News Corp Australia. He hd also been chief operating officer at British Sky Broadcasting and is a director of REA Group Limited and Coles Group Limited.
...
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:04 pm
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Toyota has no plans to restore David Warner's sponsorship

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/toyota-has-no-plans-to-restore-david-warner-s-sponsorship-20190613-p51xen.html

Quote:
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Warner himself has never associated the jump and punch with the corporate giant, though he featured in a Toyota commercial.
...

"At this stage, Toyota Australia has no plans to reinstate David Warner’s sponsorship," the company said adding there will be "no further comment" on whether that might change, ever.
...

Smith ... has been given a more torrid reception from English crowds than Warner, and was on the end of social media criticism after putting a sponsored post on Twitter this week.

The tweet, mentioning Vodafone, attracted criticism from fans.
...
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:46 pm
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New CA teams chief Oliver 'very different' to Howard

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/that-s-oarsome-ginn-oliver-take-over-ca-s-high-performance-program-20190617-p51ych.html

Quote:
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CA announced on Monday that ex-Olympic rower Drew Ginn and former first-class cricketer Oliver had been given the responsibility of shaping a revamped CA high-performance program.

In a role once solely the responsibility of Howard, the wide-ranging position has been split, with Ginn the executive general manager of high performance and Oliver the executive general manager of national teams.
...

Oliver played cricket for Tasmania and Victoria and has worked closely with Australian coach Justin Langer as the WACA's high-performance boss for the past seven years.
...

Ginn, a three-time Olympic rowing gold medallist, a member of the "Oarsome Foursome" and an inductee into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, had been in charge of high performance at Cricket Tasmania for the past two years.
...

Oliver will be based at the national cricket centre in Brisbane, with Ginn in Melbourne.
...
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:05 am
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More lies from Cricket Australia:

Caught out: Cricket's inflated playing numbers revealed

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/caught-out-cricket-s-inflated-playing-numbers-revealed-20190720-p5292s.html

Quote:

Cricket Australia’s claim that 1.65 million Australians play the sport is a significant overstatement and numbers have been inflated for several years, a Sun-Herald investigation can reveal.
...

Cricket has already been struggling to maintain sponsorship levels and questions over the claim of "1.65 million Australians" could further diminish Cricket Australia's credibility. Healthy grassroots participation is also crucial for the future success of the sport at elite levels.
...

While Cricket Australia has been reporting annually increasing participation, club cricket administrators say they have been losing numbers at an alarming rate, particularly among males aged 16 and over. The number of clubs has fallen from 4200 to 3500 in the past decade, during which period the peak body has claimed a rise in "participants" from 600,000 to 1.65 million.
...

In the past year, Cricket Australia moved its counting in-house, taking over from the Victorian research firm Street Ryan...

Asked if any Cricket Australia employees are paid incentives when higher participation numbers are produced, Mr McMillan said: "Like any business, employees are measured for performance and participation is a key measure of cricket health for Cricket Australia…. The primary KPIs in this space are registered players and the growth in girls’ teams."
...

Another stakeholder who has had intimate dealings with Cricket Australia said: "In our negotiations, CA used these figures. They knew the number was bullshit, we knew it was bullshit, everyone knows it’s bullshit. But they can’t say the real number because all the other sports do the same, and it’s produced for their commercial and government relationships which might be hurt if those partners knew the real number. Nobody inside cricket wants to talk it down, because the game might then lose funding.’

However, Sun-Herald inquiries have shown that all sports do not do the same. Other sports were transparent in reporting actual participants rather than a "participation rate". As the table shows, if the number of unique registered club players were compared, cricket would not be Australia’s number-one sport, as it claims, but number seven.
...


And this companion article:

How we exposed Cricket Australia's double counting

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/how-we-exposed-cricket-australia-s-double-counting-20190720-p52923.html

Quote:
...
Moving the counting in-house at a problematic time has been like a student taking over the job of marking their own homework.
...

While CA claims 1.65 million total participants and 684,356 registered players, the number of unique cricketers playing during the past two years is 247,060.
...

Singh is now eight players. We know it is the same Manpreet Singh because of his unique player ID. This has happened with thousands of cricketers, and some of them were counted more than 10 times each.
...

The PR-driven approach has so far been to point to growth among female, all-abilities and minorities playing the game, but the numbers coming in from new demographics are not compensating for the numbers leaking out.
...
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:05 pm
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From ashes to Ashes: Bancroft and Smith together again

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/bancroft-and-smith-back-together-in-ashes-build-up-20190723-p529pa.html

Quote:
...
“He was always a good person and he was always very dedicated. He probably now has better balance around all that and he is probably playing with real joy in his heart, whereas it was an absolute obsession before,” said WACA chief executive Christina Matthews, who sat beside Bancroft when he fronted reporters upon his return from South Africa and worked closely with the batsman in the months afterwards.

“I think he probably now has a greater appreciation for what he nearly lost, so that drives him in what he does. He’s done a lot of work on himself and he’s really embraced the opportunities that came to him as a result of the incident. And when I say opportunities, I mean the opportunities to learn more about life and see what life is like for other people. I think that’s helped him enormously.”

Bancroft has already made a splash in England this year with Durham, who signed him last August and then made him captain in March.

The latter was a decision which wasn’t universally accepted – former England fast bowler Darren Gough labelled it “disgraceful”
– but Bancroft has fared well, scoring 726 runs at an average of 45 in the County Championship second division, including two hundreds in the past month
...

Matthews, who oversaw the community work that Bancroft was required to do as part of his nine-month ban and said he completed more than double the 100 hours he was set, believes his accepting of the leadership at Durham was telling.

“I think it shows the conviction that Cameron has to getting back to his best,” she said.

“A lot of people would have just not taken on the captaincy. He’s going into a foreign environment to a team he didn’t know, to a country that judged these guys even more harshly than Australians did. I think the pressure that he put himself under is a testament to his character and that’s what has helped him grow. ..."
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:02 am
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'I wasn't true to myself': Bancroft out of darkness to resume Test career

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/i-wasn-t-true-to-myself-bancroft-out-of-darkness-to-resume-test-career-20190727-p52bb1.html

Quote:
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Bancroft will long be associated with the events at Newlands in March last year, but after an exhaustive period of self-reflection during his time in sporting purgatory, he now has an opportunity to recast that legacy, not that he is overly concerned with changing people's perceptions of him.

"I think how people want to feel about that and react, I guess, is really how they want to deal with that," he says. "For me, it’s just about playing good cricket. That’s kind of where I’m at right now. That’s definitely the thing that I can change and impact on moving forward, so that’s certainly where my focus will be right now.

"One of the big lessons that I learnt last year was about being true to yourself. There is no doubt that I wasn't as true to myself as I could have been at times. You learn from those mistakes that you make and you try and be better moving forward. At the end of the day, what you do and your actions is completely up to you. I made a mistake and I’ll learn from it and move forward and get better."

If there is anything that Bancroft gained last year it was perspective. He travelled well away from the cricket caravan during his enforced time out of the game. He worked with Indigenous groups in Alice Springs, with children diagnosed with cancer in Broome and with kids in schools who were disadvantaged, all as part of the community service Warner, Smith and he were to complete as part of their sanctions.

He wrote "a letter to his former self", published last December, in which he encouraged a younger Bancroft to "have faith and embrace uncertainty". He got serious about yoga. In the hotel where the Australian team has been staying in southern Hampshire the past week he has been seen alone meditating in the corner of the gym.
...
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:15 pm
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'I didn't know if I was ever going to play again', Steve Smith reveals

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/i-didn-t-know-if-i-was-ever-going-to-play-again-smith-reveals-20190802-p52d5x.html

Quote:
...
"There were times throughout the last 15 months where I didn’t know if I was ever going to play cricket again," Smith said.

"I lost a bit of love for it at one point, particularly when I had my elbow operation and it was really bizarre, it was the day I got the brace off my elbow I found a love for it again.

"I don’t know what it was, it was like a trigger that said ‘I’m ready to go again, I want to play’. And I wanted to go out and play for Australia and make people proud, and do what I love doing.

"I have never had those feelings before. I didn’t have a great sort of love for the game and it was there for a little while. Fortunately that love has come back. I am really grateful to be in this position, playing for Australia again and doing what I love.

"[The Newlands incident] is all in the past now, I’m moving on and I’m proud to be back here playing for Australia."
...

"It doesn’t bother me to be perfectly honest," he said of the reception he received. "I know I have the support of the guys in the room. For me, that’s all that really matters. They went berserk on the balcony when I got to 100 and looking up at them, it really sent shivers down my spine. It’s been a long time coming, getting another Test hundred, a really huge moment, and I’m lost for words, I don’t really know what to say."
...
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:59 pm
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EDITORIAL
Remember redemption is about more than winning

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/celebrate-steve-smith-s-success-but-remember-redemption-is-about-more-than-winning-20190805-p52dz9.html

Quote:
...
During the airport press conference last March, Smith also remarked that “if any good can come of this, if it can be a lesson to others, then I hope I can be a force for change". As we celebrate a team's victory and people throw around the word "redemption" to describe Smith's journey, his words need to remain uppermost in our minds. Winning cricket matches was never the index of whether Steve Smith had repaired what went wrong in South Africa; indeed, it was the desperate quest for victory that led to the plot hatched in the Australian dressing room at Newlands.

Smith was not the first Test cricketer to tamper with a ball, nor is he likely to be the last. Yet he understood immediately that his response to the scandal from the summit of the game was about what makes his chosen sport more than just an accumulation of statistics, so that when we say something is "just not cricket", we are talking about a standard of behaviour and not the latest format.
...

There are those who see Smith's restoration to the captaincy as an inevitable part of his progress from this point. If that day should come, it is to be hoped that he will set an example not only with the bat but with words on and off the pitch that make him a true force for change.
...


[Comment: True (and it's true that Nasser on the TV broadcast said "Redemption is well and truly complete"), but the editors should make clear exactly what they think Smith's crime was. Do they believe the party line, or do they think worse was covered up? The party line is much milder than what hundreds of international cricketers have done.

I'm not convinced that Smith deserves the captaincy back at any stage. This scandal aside, was he much of a captain anyway? (e.g. Maxwell can be frustrating, but did he deserve to be thrown under the bus by Smith?)


I guess this topic goes beyond sport and therefore merits an editorial, but editorials about sport generally make me cringe, because the editors know even less about sport than the hack sports journos.]
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:35 pm
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CA chairman says Test captaincy ‘not even on the radar’ for Smith

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/ca-chairman-says-test-captaincy-not-even-on-the-radar-for-smith-20190808-p52eyz.html

Quote:
...
“We’re just happy they’re doing well and happy to get them back in the side. Tim is captaining really well. It’s not on the board agenda.”

Smith spoke in the same terms when asked during the first Test whether he aspired to the captaincy, saying he was intent on “just going out there and doing my job as a batsman and scoring runs” and that the leadership was "certainly not on my radar at the moment".

The issue of captaincy is not an immediate concern with Paine running the show but it could become one in the event the wicketkeeper sustains an injury or dramatically falls out of form.

The Test vice-captains are Pat Cummins and Travis Head, with national selector Trevor Hohns saying before the series it would be Cummins who would step into the position if required in England. Captaincy has generally not been the domain of fast bowlers, however, and Head, while a state captain at South Australia and cementing himself in the Australian middle order, is still new to the Test side. Usman Khawaja is Queensland captain but has been overlooked for national deputy positions and former vice-captain David Warner is banned for life from leadership roles by CA.
...



[Comment: Yes, Cummins is the sensible fallback option.]
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:14 am
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Sport Thought: Never fear, Smith is here

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/sport-thought-never-fear-smith-is-here-20190810-p52ft4.html

T. Lane wrote:
...
Why, there might even have been some silent self-congratulation at how that horrendously difficult situation had been handled. Tough penalties, stern lessons for the miscreants, a message to the rest of the cricket world about how seriously Australia takes its obligations of fair play, and so on.
...

So, yes, Australian cricket’s powerbrokers might have allowed themselves a collective swell of sweet satisfaction. Until, perhaps, they pondered the longer game ...

This is not to suggest the former captain intends wilfully haunting those who scrubbed him for a year and sidelined his leadership aspiration for another. But it’s given them a lot to think about. For if the decision to impose lengthy bans on Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft was difficult, it’s fair to say that decision made itself. The decision ahead won’t, and is much harder.

Already, the public discussion has turned to whether Smith should lead again. And, on that, as tends to be the case on so much nowadays, Australia will be divided. Much disgust was expressed when Smith’s Australians were caught cheating in Cape Town. There are many who believe it would be improper to ever restore to the leadership the man who, in that moment, failed so spectacularly as captain. On the other hand, plenty were queueing up to hail Smith’s greatness in the wake of the Edgbaston triumph. Some were even calling for his immediate reinstatement.
...

But there is much more to this than mere runs. On the most charitable interpretation of what happened in South Africa, Smith revealed himself as being less-than-equipped for the role of captain at that time. Two great centuries at the start of an Ashes series don’t change that. Perhaps a year out of national colours and another year playing under another leader will. On that, we can only wait and see.

There is also, though, the matter of where the whole truth of Cape Town lay. Do we know the full story? I’m not sure I do and I’m not sure it’s been told.

Whatever happened that day at Newlands, and in the months and years leading up to it, those who will ultimately make this decision on national leadership must weigh it all up. This will be a decision to truly test the mettle, and integrity, of those at the helm of Australian cricket.

Fortunately for them, they have breathing space and they currently have a good man in the captain’s chair. Tim Paine may be the most accidental skipper Australian cricket has ever had, but there have been occasions in history when the unexpected leader is right for his time.




[Comment: Yep, it was just dumb luck that CA had Paine in the team, or else they'd have had no one to turn to, except possibly retired players.]
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:58 pm
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Political foes Howard and Costello finally agree on something

https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/political-foes-howard-and-costello-finally-agree-on-something-20190812-p52gfg.html

Quote:

Steve Smith's British redemption at the Ashes has continued with the batsman lauded by the Australian and British political elites at a gala party at Australia House in London ahead of the second Test at Lord's beginning on Wednesday.

Former political foes John Howard and Peter Costello both paid tribute to the Australian team, singling out the former captain, who is widely thought to have redeemed himself after the sandpaper scandal with his twin centuries at Edgbaston.
...

Normally Cricket Australia will volunteer a few of its players for Britain's elite to meet and greet but as it struggles to win back public trust after the scandal last year, for the first time it made the entire team available to the Australian high commission.
...



[Comment: So grossly inappropriate levels of condemnation are now followed by grossly inappropriate levels of praise. And the non-existent connection between scoring centuries and redemption has already been spoken about,]
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:51 pm
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'Distasteful': UK sports minister condemns England fans for booing Steve Smith

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/distasteful-uk-sports-minister-condemns-brits-for-booing-steve-smith-20190819-p52io9.html

Quote:
...
Adams said it was time for the booing to stop.

"The vast majority of the Lord’s crowd were on their feet applauding Steve Smith after his innings but a small amount of booing from a tiny element of the crowd has made the news," he said.

"It’s distasteful and we have to remember that the Aussie players who got themselves into trouble have been punished and done the time.

"Smith, in particular, is a brilliant batsman and whilst of course, I don’t want him getting too many runs while he’s over here, he’s mesmerising to watch and as genuine sports fans we should be applauding him, not jeering."

Adams, a cricket nut, is Secretary of the Lords and Commons Cricket Club and is a Lord's centurion, having scored 125 not out against the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) while captaining his side in 2014.

He was one of a string of prominent British and Australian politicians and figures to attend a reception for the Australian Men's Cricket team at the Australian High Commission last week.

Former bowler and Australian coach Jason "Dizzy" Gillespie said, while the boos were going to happen after the sandpaper incident, Saturday's were not only disappointing but also hypocritical.

"I think it has been disappointing to hear the boos when he was hit by Jofra and certainly when he came back out to bat," Gillespie said.

"There are some short memories within these shores - a number of players have been guilty of changing the condition of the ball - including English players - I don’t believe they have been subjected to the same treatment as Smith," he said.
...
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:58 pm
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Smith will always be remembered as a cheat: Harmison

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/smith-will-always-be-remembered-as-a-cheat-harmison-20190909-p52pjb.html

Quote:
...
Harmison, who played 63 Tests – including all five games during the epic 2005 Ashes series – suggested it will be impossible to change anybody's opinion.

"I don't think you can forgive him," Harmison told talkSPORT.

"When you're known as a cheat – and he is, I'm not going to sugar-coat it, the three guys cheated – that's on your CV.

"You're marked and you take it to your grave.
...

"I can't see anybody's opinion changing on Smith, Bancroft, or Warner. Because of what they've done, they've tarnished the game."
...


[Comment: Harmison is in no position to pass judgement. He was part of the 2005 England team that systematically cheated their way to the Ashes (helped also by Buchanan's incompetence as Oz coach), as described in Trescothick's book.]
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