Western Australia news October 31, 2012

Scorchers players escape sanctions

Perth Scorchers players who misbehaved en masse on the team's Twenty20 Champions League jaunt have escaped any further sanctions following an investigation into their conduct by the Western Australian Cricket Association.

Instead, the WACA will commission independent review of cricket in the state, and also draft a new code of conduct and behavioural guidelines to provide a clearer policy for the players. There was also an acknowledgement from team management that the culture around the state team had to improve.

Following the resignation of Marcus North as captain of both the state team and the Scorchers, and the dropping of Shaun Marsh from the state side for reasons of form, it was expected that others may have faced punishment following the conclusion of the WACA investigation.

However the fact that all members of the Scorchers squad but one - Nathan Coulter-Nile who was ill - were present for Mitchell Marsh's birthday dinner, which later deteriorated into the kind of night that affected training for the following two days, seems to have mitigated against any further penalties.

"Fourteen out of the fifteen members of the playing group, as well as two support staff, attended a dinner on the night the team arrived in Cape Town," a WACA statement said. "All except two players continued to a nearby lounge bar after dinner and were involved in the continuance of the evening to varying degrees.

"Team management felt that after a late night and excessive alcohol consumption, some players were not in an ideal state to complete a training session the following morning, and a training session held the following day, that being the day before the Delhi game, was also compromised.

"Our advice is there were no other incidents on the night. In light of this and that some players have already been addressed in South Africa, as well as the fact that the behaviour of players on tour aside from the night in question was appropriate, no further penalties will be imposed on individuals."

Problems surrounding WA's performance have been long-running, prompting concerned comment from the national selector John Inverarity and the Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards in recent days. Having both played with distinction for WA in the past, Inverarity and Edwards expressed hope that the issues brought to a head in South Africa would be addressed.

To that end, the WACA board has endorsed the setting up of an independent review of the game in the state.

"Team management and the chief executive officer have identified some issues relating to the underlying culture within the Warriors and Scorchers," the statement said, "and have recommended that steps be taken to ensure that we have a winning culture within all teams representing the WACA.

"The WACA Board has approved a recommendation from management for a full and independent review to be carried out to identify underlying issues that may be impacting on teams representing the WACA. A code of conduct and behavioural guidelines will be developed with education opportunities identified and resources made available to both players and staff. There will also be an individual focus on counselling strategies as needed for members of the playing group.

"The WACA will continue to examine its structures, processes and culture, and to raise our professional standards to the highest level. We will be judged by our actions going forward rather than our words."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here