SYDNEY – Australian cricket is drawing up a cultural blueprint in which players will pledge to uphold certain standards in a move away from their win-at-all-costs mentality, according to skipper Tim Paine.
The player charter is being developed in the wake of a ball-tampering scandal in March that rocked the game and cost captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner their jobs.
Coach Darren Lehmann also resigned amid criticism that he allowed an attitude within the team to flourish that led to the embarrassing episode.
Two reviews into the state of the game were set up in the aftermath - one focusing on the culture within Cricket Australia and the other into the team.
Paine told the Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday that he and new coach Justin Langer were playing a central role in formalising a blueprint for players to follow to ensure such scandals never happen again.
He said the new team charter, linked to the reviews, could be in place ahead of their Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates next month.
“It's going to be how we go about it, how we want to be seen and what we are about,” he said. “That's really important. We are the lucky ones that get to represent our country and pull on that baggy green cap, which is a huge privilege.”
“I think we have to go back to that and just remember that we are Australia's team - we are not the Australian cricket team. We don't own it,” the wicketkeeper-batsman added. “We are just here for the ride and it's important that we leave that team in a better place to when we went into it.”
Under the charter, which will be separate to Cricket Australia's code of conduct and encourage a hard-but-fair attitude, players will be held to account by their peers.
Paine told the newspaper it was as much about improving cricketers as “people” as it was about the team's on-field actions.
“We want to build a culture that makes people want to be better and produce not only better cricketers but better people,” he said. “If we can do that, that's the sort of environment people want to be involved in and that culture spreads really quickly through the team rather than having to try and sell your culture all the time.”
Smith and Warner were banned from international and domestic cricket for a year while batsman Cameron Bancroft was exiled for nine months after plotting to tamper with the ball using sandpaper during the third Test against South Africa.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)