Sydney: Test great Shane Warne says Australian cricket’s new buzzwords, including “elite honesty”, make him “vomit” and actions not words should be the focus as the team works to turn itself around.
Coach Justin Langer, appointed after the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa exposed a win-at-all-costs mentality, has cited the phrase as the way forward for Australian cricket.
It followed a review last week into the culture at Cricket Australia and a “players pact” calling on cricketers to respect the game’s tradition and “make Australians proud”.
“Elite honesty” was reportedly one phrase plastered on the walls of the team’s changing room ahead of their one-day clash with South Africa in Perth on Sunday, with fans poking fun at it on social media.
And Warne, never one to mince his words, let rip during television commentary. “Forget all the words, forget the verbal diarrhoea and all that sort of stuff,” he said on Fox Sports. “That’s just rubbish, that sort of stuff. Seriously, it makes you want to vomit.
“At the end of the day, cricket is a simple game and it’s a performance-based game. You’ve got to perform on the field.
“All these words and everything — it’s all about actions. And I think it’s got to be the basics.”
Meanwhile, former Test captain Mark Taylor quit as a Cricket Australia director on Monday, saying he had “lost the energy” to continue after a torrid time sparked by the ball-tampering scandal and a scathing review into the governing body.
He becomes the latest top figure to exit the embattled organisation following chief executive James Sutherland and chairman David Peever.
Taylor was only last week floated as a potential successor to Peever, with the sport in desperate need of inspired leadership after the damning independent review blamed CA’s “arrogant” and “controlling” culture as contributing to players cheating in the pursuit of victory.
He ruled himself out, citing a conflict of interest, having recently signed a new contract with broadcaster Channel Nine which has the rights to the World Cup and Ashes series in 2019.
And Taylor, who served 13 years on the board, has now decided to split from CA altogether and give it a clean slate to restore its reputation.
“I’ve just got to the end. Particularly over the last 18 months, there’s been a lot in this role as a director of Cricket Australia and it’s taken its toll on me,” he told reporters.
“I don’t think I can give any more. I’ve lost the energy and I think it’s time for someone else to step up and fill my shoes.”
Since Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were banned for trying to alter the ball with sandpaper in a South Africa Test in March, Taylor has been at the forefront of working to restore relations between CA and the players’ union.
But now is the right time to “allow Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association to work from a fresh page”.
“I said many months ago that my next step as a Cricket Australia director was either to step up or step off the board,” he said.