Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland revealed that he regretted that the Newlands ball handling scandal had not occurred in such a disastrous manner, resulting in the banning of Steven Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft , if he could have intervened earlier in the
Sutherland turned off the television at his home in Melbourne before the broadcast showed evidence that Bancroft had used a foreign object to try to change the condition of the ball, which was then revealed as sandpaper. This meant he was unaware of the various attempts by Bancroft, Smith and the team to cover up the truth of the matter, which culminated in a press conference in which the captain and the starting batter had lied about the object used, claiming that it was a tape in Place of sandpaper. – and who was involved – Smith declaring the "leadership group" in place of Vice Captain Warner. All were subsequently banned through the CA code of conduct.
Speaking on the last day of his unwary and influential 17-year tenure as chief executive officer of California, Sutherland said he had thought how different things could have been if he had been able to do it. To influence the previous procedures. It was not until about 3 o'clock in the morning of the following morning, after the press conference, that Sutherland was told about the events in South Africa. In this episode, he echoed others in which Sutherland could not participate directly, including the four-player suspensions of 2013 for not doing the "homework" for then coach Mickey Arthur in India, an event that led to his replacement by Darren Lehmann.
"I guess it would have been around midnight, I guess [that I turned the TV off] but, yes, I wish I was watching, absolutely, it was a serious moment of the WTF there," Sutherland told ESPNcricinfo. "I would like to think that my judgment and my possible influence would have meant that the media conference would have been slightly different."
"As we know, that was part of the penalty and the severity of the penalty, it was for some. or, at least, it was consistent in terms of how it was handled, without telling the truth or without telling the whole truth.
"Without a doubt, if I had been close to that, it would have been a different result, I would like to think about some cases where things have gone wrong, that is not true, you can not be everywhere" .
"There were many other things happening, and some shameful behaviors during the Elizabeth Test port, provocation of opposition fanatics but also administrators of the opposition team"
James Sutherland in preparation for Newlands
Questions have been raised about how the spirit of cricket seems to have receded into California's more recent strategy, which speaks instead of "breaking the boundaries" and others speaking. Sutherland, who personally led a concerted effort to make the spirit of cricket a more prominent element of the game early in his 2003 exercise, said the fact that his earlier warnings to Captain Smith and coach Lehmann about the team's behavior They had gone What was not heard was part of the reason why he was "disconsolate" for what happened in Cape Town.
"I was heartbroken by the events that occurred and I think somehow I fully understand that in the heat of battle things can overflow and go wrong and there can be regrettable incidents," Sutherland said. "[But] I think that, somehow, the issues of Cape Town were something totally different, it was not necessarily a confrontation between two players, it was a premeditated moment of WTF that surprised us all, part of the scope of my disappointment in Around Cape Town is accentuated by what happened earlier in the series, and I have the feeling that there were warning signs.
"There were many other things happening, and some embarrassing behaviors during the Port Elizabeth test, provocation of the opposition fanatics, but also the Opposition Team Administrators. But still, if you go back to Durban, my opinions were expressed during and after the Durban test match that we needed to take stock and be very aware that when you play in South Africa, you play in a cauldron and we & # 39; I have two teams that are very hard on each other.
"Our leadership must show restraint and understand that this is not the first time that things have been overflowing in the field between CA and South Africa and it will not be the last time." But it happened before, especially in those tours at the end of a long It was predictable to a certain extent, but my opinion was that, leaving Durban aside, it was time to understand and play well again, hard cricket. "
CA Chairman David Peever said that the drafting of the current CA strategy document would likely be reviewed to return The spirit of cricket to a more prominent in the thinking of the governing body, and Sutherland said that while the 2003 campaign aimed to put the spirit of the game in the public eye, for a long time he endeavored to reinforce its importance to the public. leaders of the national team.
"It has always been prominent, but there was a very conscious change back then in the 2000s to ensure that there is a greater awareness around that, and various measures that came into play," Sutherland said. "That was quite public, but it is not in any way to say that there has been a loss of focus in that, it was public then, a conscious change to make it public and create awareness around that."
"I have had innumerable conversations with captains and coaches on the way to remind them that it is enshrined in the laws of the game through the preamble on the spirit of cricket." The responsibilities of the players led particularly by the captains for the respect that the The teams show the referees, their opponents and everyone else in the game. "I have always felt very convinced about this and I have always devoted my attention when I felt it was necessary for the captain and I remind them of their responsibilities, as I did afterwards. of the Durban test. "
The departure from Sutherland has taken place at a time when CA has never been richer or larger as an organization, but with much thought to be done about how it is carried out to restore public confidence after Newlands and at the same time rebuild the performance of the national team, now led at the test level by Tim Paine and enter Adopted by Justin Langer. Sutherland is convinced that the game, although it is shaken, will be better for Newlands events.
"I think the good thing about the public response to Cape Town is a reminder to everyone about how important cricket is, what cricket means to the Australian public and the pedestal on which the team is held. of Australian cricket and the expectations of being an Australian cricketer, "he said." I think our players Cric ket Australia and everyone in Australian cricket remembers it and I think it's a great compliment to cricket and a very clear for all.
"From the beginning I said that the game will be better for this, it already is, People are collecting and responding, not only in Australia but throughout the world through various things in ICC and other countries . "But also within our own organization and within our team, the players are committed to seeing the Australians feel proud of the Australian cricket team and the players, and how they get on and off the field."
Read James Sutherland's full interview with ESPNcricinfo next week