Australians are waking up this morning to the devastating news that its favourite cricket team, the Australian Mens’ Test Cricket XI are cheaters or at least some of them are. The remarkable footage from South Africa overnight of Cameron Bancroft attempting to change the condition of the red cricket ball, and then the unbelievable press conference following the day’s play where Steve Smith admitted this was a planned attempt to cheat the game, is by far the darkest moment Australian cricket has seen.
Cricket Australia and its CEO James Sutherland must take swift action and strip Smith of Captaincy and remove the current leadership group of any authority whatsoever. Those responsible need to be held accountable.
The Australian cricketers protested their worth in a fight with Cricket Australia, but any worth or respect from the Australian public they did have in that fight has now disappeared with their actions overnight.
Cricket Australia is now looking to sell its next set of media rights. Fairfax reported on Friday that CA asked bidders to resubmit their first bids. The assumption being that the bid prices did not reach CA’s desired outcome. The actions of the Australian cricket team have now put a real cork in the CA media rights auction process as the public’s liking of the team has just suddenly been flipped on its head.
While this incident may ultimately not have a major affect on the media rights value CA achieves, at the same time it could, and if the Australia cricket team do not know that their actions could have a direct affect on how their employer can generate income to pay them, then there is a real problem.
Cricket Australia in a press conference today has said it is investigating the incident. While there is a need for process, swift action is also needed to rid Australian cricket of those who have brought disgrace and tried to cheat the game.