Get on same page as players now, Andrew Symonds urges Cricket Australia
Andrew Symonds has urged CA to “get on the same page” as Australia’s cricketers to prevent further damage to reputation and the image of Australia cricket. @Getty

Former Australia allrounder Andrew Symonds is not surprised at some of the findings of the exhaustive review by the Ethics Centre into the behaviour of the Australian cricket team and Cricket Australia (CA) this week, and hopes that the board heeds the host of recommendations put forward this week.

The 145-page document, released on Monday, states that Australian cricket “has lost its balance and stumbled badly” and that its cricketers live in a “gilded bubble – disconnected, for much of the year, from families, friends and the grounding influence of community”  and that CA is viewed as an ”arrogant and controlling” body that does not live up to its values.

Symonds has urged CA to “get on the same page” as Australia’s cricketers to prevent further damage to reputation and the image of Australia cricket.

“I wasn’t shocked or surprised with what they came up with. But the biggest disappointment for me is how much worse things seem to be getting,” he told foxsports.com.au. “Someone needs to stick their neck out and fix it and it needs to happen directly, otherwise it’s just going to get out of control and unnecessary things are going to happen.

“So someone’s actually got to take responsibility and get the players, get the administrators together and get them on the same page for the sake of the game and for the sake of all the players as individuals.”

The Ethics Centre was commissioned to review CA in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal that erupted during the Cape Town Test match in March, and which saw former captain Steve Smith, former vice-captain David Warner and Test opener Cameron Bancroft handed bans from international and state cricket.

While sledging has long been a part of Australia’s tactics, one of the findings of the review was an alleged culture of bullying within CA, with report director Simon Longstaff of the Ethics Centre terming the ruling body’s methods as ‘dictatorial’ and ‘not collaborative’.

Symonds was of the view that sledging was a part of cricket’s fabric, but cautioned against taking matters too far.

“If you’re playing professional sport there’s going to be some sort of gamesmanship – sledging or whatever you want to call it – in the heat of the battle,” he said. “They’re not school boys, they’re men. They should handle that, it’s part of the game and it always has been. There are certainly things you don’t say, but there are many ways you can get inside someone’s head by the things you do say that are quite within the rules.”

Last week, Warner briefly left the field while playing for his club Randwick-Petersham in a Sydney grade match because of a comment from Jason Hughes, elder brother of the late Australia batsman Phil Hughes, which Warner’s partner Candice later said was “very hurtful”.