Cricket Australia team performance boss Pat Howard among latest executives to join exodus over Sandpapergate

The exodus at Cricket Australia (CA) grew Wednesday as two more top executives quit the embattled governing body after a ball-tampering scandal and a scathing review triggered an outcry.

FirstCricket Staff, November 08, 2018

The exodus at Cricket Australia (CA) grew Wednesday as two more top executives quit the embattled governing body after a ball-tampering scandal and a scathing review triggered an outcry.

Team performance boss Pat Howard, who was due to leave next year, has brought forward his departure to next week, while broadcasting chief Ben Amarfio left on Wednesday, Cricket Australia said.

File image of former Cricket Australia Team Performance boss Pat Howard. Reuters

File image of former Cricket Australia Team Performance boss Pat Howard. Reuters

The latest departures come after chairman David Peever was forced out last week and former Test captain Mark Taylor quit as a director. Former CEO James Sutherland stepped down last month.

The 'Sandpaper-gate' scandal, where the team was caught using sandpaper to alter the flight of the ball, also cost former coach Darren Lehmann his job and prompted lengthy bans for three players.

Cricket Australia said the latest changes signalled a "new chapter" under the leadership of incoming chief executive Kevin Roberts.

"I think it is important at this point in time that we give cricket a fresh start and we start looking forward so we that can heal," Roberts told reporters in Melbourne.

"We are as transparent as we can be in this situation," he added when pressed for more details about why the pair were leaving Cricket Australia.

"But I ask that we respect Pat and Ben and everything that they have brought to the game, and the public can know that we make these changes and hard decisions with real respect and sensitivity to our people.

"And because of that I hope you understand I won't be going into detail."

Roberts said there would be no further "significant change at the executive level in the months ahead".

In an earlier statement he said it was "clear that we need to deepen our relationships with fans, players and the broader cricket community", acknowledging it had been a "turbulent year in Australian cricket".

The latest developments have been met with reactions from former Australian cricketers such as Stuart MacGill and Ian Chappell.

Former leg-spinner MacGill accused Howard of stealing from CA's reserves from a long time, and that his ouster should have happened much earlier.

"I just wish we had it a few years ago because Pat Howard has been stealing an income from Cricket Australia for a long time as far as I’m concerned,” MacGill told Macquarie Sports Radio.

“It was always a joke to me and to a lot of my mates that he was high performance manager when his performance during pretty much his whole time with Cricket Australia has been anything but."

Chappell, on the other hand, wasn't happy with some of Howard's policies.

“As a captain, I wouldn’t have wanted Pat Howard coming to me and telling me Dennis Lillee couldn’t play the next Test because he’s in the red zone,” Chappell was quoted as saying according to Wide World of Sports.

“My response would have been to ask Dennis if he was right to play, and if he said yes I would have told Howard to buzz off, except I may not have been that polite."

After the sandpaper plot in March, then-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were banned for 12 months, and batsman Cameron Bancroft for nine months.

A damning independent review found Cricket Australia partly responsible for the incident, saying an "arrogant" and "controlling" culture led to players cheating in the pursuit of victory.

Roberts said his organisation would heed the review's call to meet with the Australian Cricketers' Association and mend its fraught relationship with the players' union.

With inputs from AFP

Updated Date: Nov 08, 2018







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