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Cricket Australia considers AFL tribunal model

Daniel Brettig

May 23, 2013

Comments: 8 | Text size: A | A

David Warner speaks to the media in Sydney, May 23, 2013
David Warner faced the media on the morning after his hearing © Getty Images
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David Warner's privately convened code of conduct hearing for his recent Twitter indiscretions may be the last of its kind, as Cricket Australia consider adopting a system whereby disciplinary charges against players would be heard in forums open to public scrutiny via the media.

Adrian Anderson, the former AFL executive, is due to submit his report into CA's integrity and disciplinary policy management in June. ESPNcricinfo understands that one of its key recommendations may be to call for the opening of disciplinary hearings to outside observers after the fashion of the AFL tribunal.

This means a hearing like Warner's would be open to media reportage, a significant break from cricket's traditional policy of keeping board matters, including the disciplining of players, decidedly private, opaque affairs.

It would also be a marked departure from the convention followed by most cricket boards and also the ICC, which does not permit public access to code of conduct hearings presided over by match referees, nor the appeal hearings that may subsequently eventuate.

Anderson is also expected to recommend that CA's code of conduct procedures and protocols for hearings be tightened, following a summer in which the consistency and transparency of the current system was called into considerable question by a series of incidents during the BBL in particular.

Standards of on-field behaviour during the event were allowed to lapse, culminating in the ugly bust-up between Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels at the MCG. That incident and its handling in a pair of seemingly contradictory and indecipherable code of conduct verdicts did not sit well with a majority of players and others.

Anderson is likely to call for a new structure to manage integrity and disciplinary matters, moving the BBL chief and CA head of commercial operations Mike McKenna away from a role that currently has him holding both the commercial and disciplinary keys for CA - an apparent conflict of interest.

Despite its novelty in cricket, this would not be the first time CA has toyed with subjecting its disciplinary procedures to public analysis. The CA chief executive James Sutherland has previously stated his preference for public hearings and, as far back as 2002, player contracts included a clause allowing the board to decided whether or not disciplinary hearings would be heard in camera or with the media present.

That change had followed Steve Waugh's complaints that he was not allowed to publicly state his defence to an ICC charge he faced in the 2001 Boxing Day Test against South Africa for questioning Darrell Hair's decision to give him run out without referring to the third umpire.

Nevertheless, the major obstacle to public hearings would appear to be the Australian Cricketers' Association, whose chief executive Paul Marsh is believed to be skeptical about the necessity of the concept.

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

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Posted by Jagger on (May 24, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

Administrators spending money on administration. Typical. How about we forget about spending money on the badly behaved boys and spend every spare cent on educating junior batsmen?! Or is this game all about sponsorship and nothing else?

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 7:49 GMT)

Not again...Aussies focus on cricket instead...back to back ashes comn up...

Posted by   on (May 24, 2013, 1:23 GMT)

Cricket Australia should be more concerned about getting Australian cricket out of its current doldrums instead of devising new ways to punish and alienate players.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (May 24, 2013, 0:06 GMT)

What's the expression - any news is good news? This is just another way to increase media coverage of cricket and generate greater public interest. But it further drags cricket off the the field and into a soap opera.

Posted by David_Boon on (May 23, 2013, 12:24 GMT)

I'm pretty sure the last thing that CA should be doing is copying ANYTHING the AFL does. What a joke. Just let him play cricket. Funny how they fine him for what I can only assume is that his actions had a negative impact on their 'image'. Free speech after all - if Warner can't say whatever he wants, why does CA give credentials to some journalist and then let him say whatever he wants about Warner? Just focus on the game, not this faux-management-school crap they insist in going on with.

Posted by   on (May 23, 2013, 11:48 GMT)

Right now the AFL Tribunal, or Match Review Panel, is one of the greatest jokes in professional sport. Neither players, administrators or fans understand the decisions they come to, and the level of scrutiny just adds to the frustration. I'm happy to have it settled behind closed doors - one less thing for me to be annoyed at in the world.

Posted by Gun79 on (May 23, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

Please let them (Cricketers) to do their job ..

Posted by Mitty2 on (May 23, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

Great... because the adminstratice aspect and media spect of the AFL just works so well.....

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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