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Cricket Australia's cultural reviewer backs Steve Smith for the leadership role

Cricket Australia's cultural reviewer backs Steve Smith for the leadership role

Cricket Australia's cultural reviewer backs Steve Smith for the leadership role

Dr Simon Longstaff, the philosopher who led the investigation of Cricket Australia's operations, after the ignominious ball-tampering saga at Cape Town Test in 2018, recommends Steve Smith for the leadership position again. However, Longstaff pointed that Smith will be under high scrutiny and will be judged a lot.

In 2018 at Newlands when Australia and South Africa engaged in an intense Test match, cricket went out of focus as the match got marred by the infamous ball-tampering episode that left a permanent scar on Australian cricket.

“It’s a big error in judgement, but we’ll learn from it and move past it," Smith told reporters at Cape Town after the ball-tampering incident.  

David Warner and Steve Smith were given a year ban while Cameron Bancroft got suspended for nine months. David Warner and Steve Smith returned to form in 2019 and made a strong comeback in the all-important 2019 ODI World Cup.

Longstaff believes in a second chance and is of the view that if someone has paid the penalty for their offence, show remorse and accept their mistake then they shouldn't be denied any opportunity. 

“I’ve always believed that if people have done the wrong thing and have paid a particular penalty and they show that they have been open in their acceptance of wrongdoing and genuinely remorseful, then they should not be excluded for all opportunities into the future, and I would apply that to Steven Smith,” Longstaff was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.

“When he thinks about the role of captaincy, that he sees it in the light of his past experience and what additional expectations there will be of him, and realistic ones that he needs to meet, rather than just thinking that it’s going back to the captaincy as he once knew it," Longstaff added.

Longstaff awaits Cricket Australia to implement his recommendations and particularly the formation of the ethics commission which he feels would prevent issues like the one in Cape Town.

“I think they are probably still struggling with (some recommendations). It’s a very complex thing, not least because it’s a federal structure,” Longstaff opined.

“I suppose my biggest disappointment is that the ethics commission has as far as I know not been established. I wanted cricket to have access to people who had no interest other than the ethical questions that were at the heart of the game. The fact that’s not been done, even though I understand the politics of it, maybe even some people are a little bit confused about something that doesn’t work on formal power but rather on moral authority. I think it would have been very helpful for them with some of the issues they continue to be confronted with over time.

“Cricket Australia continues to work hard to improve its workplace culture and has adopted the majority of the recommendations put forth by the Ethics Centre. Some of those recommendations are still being worked through and the timetable for doing so has been extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional and immediate workload it has placed upon the organisation,"  said Cricket Australia in a statement. 

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