Ian Chappell isn’t happy with CA’s governing body.
Ian Chappell isn’t happy with CA’s governing body.

Cricket great’s scathing CA attack

THE ugly fallout following the release of independent cultural reviews into Australian cricket on Monday has continued to come under harsh criticism.

Cricket Australia chairman David Peever has copped the full force of the backlash after his refusal to step down was viewed as "arrogant" and underhanded around the globe.

The global view is backed up by the damning conclusions drawn from the report, which described Peever's administration as "arrogant", "dictatorial", "controlling", "disrespectful" and "bullying".

Peever was grilled by Leigh Sales over the reviews into the sport's governing body, but he dodged the question over whether he and the board should step down.

Now former Australian cricket captain Ian Chappell has hit out over the damning report and says he has "seen the arrogant side" of the organisation.

"I can understand the feeling of arrogance," Chappell told 7.30.

"A lot of the people I deal with at Cricket Australia are good people and very helpful, but I've seen the arrogant side of it."

Chappell played his last game for the Australian side in 1980 after making his debut 16 years earlier, but stated not much at the top level had changed since his time.

"I had to deal with them for about four-and-a-half years when I was captain and I was glad to get out. I don't think they were running it very well then and I don't think much has changed.

"All decisions seem to be made according to the bottom line. I would love to hear the words, 'We're making this move in the best interests of the game'. You just don't hear it."

Ian Chappell isn’t happy with Cricket Australia.
Ian Chappell isn’t happy with Cricket Australia.

Peever's hardline stance that he is the right man to lead the way despite the findings of the review caught many off guard.

"I accept as chairman of the board of Cricket Australia, I accept responsibility for what happened in South Africa, but I am also very confident we are positioned to move forward from here," he said.

Chappell however believes Peever shouldn't be the one running the governing body and said if he's true to his word he would be gone.

"Didn't he say the buck stops with me? I seem to recall hearing that or reading that somewhere. I mean if the buck stopped with him, he'd be gone," he said.

His criticism for Peever pailed in comparison to his stinging attack on the board and the leadership of Cricket Australia.

"Here's a body that's supposedly running Australian cricket and every time something goes wrong, they get an independent body to tell them what's gone wrong, why it's gone wrong," Chappell said.

"I would have thought if you're supposed to be running cricket, you would know where things are going wrong, and be ahead of the game. If you were that far behind the game as a captain, you wouldn't last very long.

"The biggest problem - I have thought this from the time I started to understand a bit about the workings of the board - biggest problem in my opinion is that the people on the board - they don't understand the game of cricket at the highest level."

Ian Chappell isn't happy with CA.
Ian Chappell isn't happy with CA.

Chappell slammed the direction Peever is trying to direct the governing body, believing they're trying to take it back to his time when he served under the "master-servant" time.

The relationships between CA and the ACA became strained during last year's volatile pay dispute. and it's that relationship where Chappell sees issues arising.

"There was great animosity during the MOU discussions, and who were heading those discussions for Cricket Australia? Most of the time it was Peever and Roberts," Chappell said.

"Now they are the two guys in charge. So, there's a lot of making up to be done there. But it's a couple of the comments I have seen from Peever and a couple of the comments in the report, it seems to me they still don't understand this has to be a partnership.

"You may not like each other, but you have got to go ahead as a partnership if you want to take the game forward. I played in the time of master-servant relationship. It seems to me he is trying to take it back to that level. Ridiculous!"

Ian Chappell slammed Peever and the leadership of CA.
Ian Chappell slammed Peever and the leadership of CA.

The former captain and now media personality believes throughout the history of the game, the mistakes are often caused by those higher up with the players often copping the brunt of the fallout.

"In the history of the game, it's the administrators, generally, who make the mistakes and the players pay for it," Chappell told 2GB's Chris Smith.

"If administrators were subject to the same regulations as players, i.e. they were selected on form, you wouldn't have an administrator in the game."

Ian Chappell tees off on CA.
Ian Chappell tees off on CA.

The reviews were brought about following the ball-tampering scandal that erupted during the Test series against South Africa in Cape Town.

Then captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner, along with Cameron Bancroft were all handed bans for their actions.

But since the review findings have been revealed, calls have been made for the governing body to show leniency towards the trio.

Included in the findings was an acknowledgment the players weren't the only ones at fault for the ball tampering controversy in South Africa, placing part of the blame on the toxic culture emanating from head office.

"My message to Cricket Australia is a simple one. These contrite men have been punished enough. Let them play," Australian Cricketers Association President Greg Dyer said.

"Yes, this was a moment of madness but now there is evidence and independent verification of system failure as well. We believe this is hugely significant.

"With this new information, common sense, common decency, basic fairness, proportionality - which we've talked about from the outset - and natural justice demand that the punishment is reduced.

"I add that the ACA will be relentless."

Chappell reiterated the comments made by Dyer and said the three men deserve to be angry for being the only ones to cop punishment.

"When the fiasco in Cape Town occurred I said if it's only three people - being Smith, Warner and Bancroft - if only three get it in the neck then it's a joke. Well, I think it's now officially a joke.

"Quite rightly the players are going to be angry about that, the fact it's only them who copped it in the neck.

"If things are going astray on the field they are usually going astray off the field. And I think they've been going astray for a while."

With a tense showdown looming between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association, the heat on Peevers will be turned all the way up.

A threat of legal action over the bans handed down could make the already nightmare scenes turn even uglier, but as Dyer stated the review paints a damning picture of the governing body.

"It details a corporate culture which is as bad as I've seen in 30 years in the corporate world," Dyer said.

As the summer of cricket draws closer, the dark cloud currently hanging over Australian cricket won't be going away any time soon.


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