In 1984 England were getting smashed by the West Indies and everyone was looking for England and their leadership to make excuses for performance. England captain David Gower on being interviewed during the series said, “It is a Test match. It’s not Old Reptonians v Lymeswold, one off the mark and jolly good show. You are not expecting life to be made easy for you.”

If only that attitude prevailed at the moment in Australian cricket.
Gower was not looking for excuses; he and his players would deal with the problems and be judged on how they handled themselves. In reflecting on the release of the Longstaff review and the fallout from it, things just have to change.

The Chairman’s position has now become completely untenable and he has resigned. Unsurprising when you profess to have good governance and at the same time orchestrate your reinstatement prior to a review being released. Laughable!

The whole credibility of the board has been in question. Appointing someone from the current board as Chairman is also impossible from a governance perspective. This board has presided over this mess.

What equally amazes me is that the State CEO’s have the ability to start the process of fixing this mess. Why don’t they?

They seem to be complicit in condoning the behaviour called out by Longstaff.

I think it speaks volumes for the leadership in cricket across the board.

When you have organisations that are not accountable they can do whatever they like. There is no accountability! I was disgusted by the responses by the CA Chairman on the ABC’s 7.30 Report when his notion of accountability was that CA had voluntarily instigated a review into what is now being referred to as a “hiccup” in South Africa.

That “hiccup” reference said it all. It demonstrated mammoth incompetence and a complete and total lack of understanding of the game, its relevance, its history or its future.

As a result of the Chairman’s resignation it may now be possible for Kevin Roberts, the new CEO at CA to make some headway. It will depend on how the board reacts and the appointment of the new Chairman.

In my one brief exchange with Kevin Roberts I found him to be very open and thoughtful. He has a huge task and needs clean air.

The ACA are not adding anything positive to the debate at the moment either.

Regardless of whether you think the bans on Smith, Warner and Bancroft are too harsh or not, they are there and need to be served. Banging on about lifting the bans just alienates more of the public and reinforces the widely held view that the male players are indulged.

Grown men conspired to cheat in an environment that encouraged it and then lied about it. Fact. If there were older and wiser heads in that dressing room in South Africa it would never have happened. The fact that the coaching and management staff is still largely in place also speaks to the integrity of the whole set up.

We have seen this week the ACA publicly setting up another adversarial situation.
If the Australian team was performing better at the moment lifting bans wouldn’t even be spoken about.

The ACA have sought far too much media attention in this. They should be working quietly, negotiating responsibly, and with the best interest of the fans, the players and the game.

Cricket is a game of partnerships and good partnerships are built with trust, time, consistency and leaving your ego at the door or in the dressing room.

At the moment it feels like both CA and the ACA should be called into the headmasters office and suspended until they come back, with their parents, to be told by David Gower to start acting responsibly both in class and in the playground!