Australia news December 20, 2013

CA get tough on poor behaviour

Strong penalties for poor on-field behaviour in Australian domestic cricket are unlikely to be relaxed anytime soon after responsibility for Cricket Australia's disciplinary codes, anti-corruption and anti-doping measures was placed in the hands of the governing body's senior legal counsel Iain Roy. A review of integrity practices by the former AFL executive Adrian Anderson earlier this year had suggested the establishment of a unit dedicated to policing such matters.

Roy will take charge of the unit under the title of Senior Manager - Integrity, reporting to the chief executive James Sutherland and the general manager of legal and business affairs Dean Kino. Roy's post places him in charge of code of conduct issues, a role previously held by Mike McKenna, chief of the BBL and CA's commercial head, as well as preventative measures around doping and corruption.

McKenna has overseen this area since the exit of the former head of cricket, Michael Brown, in 2011, and the move of the former general manager of cricket operations, Geoff Allardice to the ICC in 2012. His dual roles were placed under the microscope by Anderson, who concluded it would be better to have the keys to the disciplinary codes held by an office bearer not also responsible for the generation of revenue for the game. Last summer's BBL featured a mounting tide of poor on-field behaviour, culminating in Shane Warne's unsavoury confrontation with Marlon Samuels at the MCG.

Following that incident, CA's emphasis on punishing players for misbehaviour on the field was heightened, resulting in a large number of code of conduct charges and hearings in the second half of the 2012-13 domestic season and the start of this one, including the suspension of Matthew Wade for pitch tampering in the Sheffield Shield and of Doug Bollinger for hurling a ball at an opposing batsman during the domestic limited-overs tournament.

"While there are no suggestions that any Australian players, officials or administrators are involved in corrupt or illegal activity, the threat of that behaviour impacting the integrity of our game in some way is very real and we have to be vigilant in our approach to managing it," Sutherland said.

"By creating a standalone department dedicated to managing the integrity of the game, we believe we are well placed in the fight against corruption, doping and other illegal and harmful practices, ensuring it does not jeopardise the game's unique place in Australian culture.

"We think this is a responsible approach to protecting the game under our jurisdiction. We need to ensure the Australian public has full faith in the integrity of the game and the way it is administered. Iain Roy has been directly involved in CA's integrity efforts for a number of years and is well equipped to lead our work in this area as CA's inaugural Senior Manager - Integrity."

Other members of the integrity unit will include CA's anti-corruption and security manager Sean Carroll, and its anti-doping medical officer. Among their responsibilities will be initiating background checks for all overseas players wishing to participate in Australian cricket competitions, providing education on anti-corruption, anti-doping and codes of behaviour for all Australian players, and working closely with the ICC's anti-corruption and security unit to share information on potential threats to the game's integrity.

Roy joined CA in 2006, after working on that year's Melbourne Commonwealth Games. He had previously worked for a decade in private legal practice both in Australia and overseas.

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