Australian cricket team’s culture was under scanner after the infamous ‘Sandpapergate’ scandal in 2018. Efforts were made by Cricket Australia to improve the culture in the dressing room which seems to have paid off according to new findings.
As the new culture is setting in, umpires have noticed that the players have been getting more respect from the opposition players.
“Everyone in Australian cricket is well aware that it’s not just winning that counts, but how we play the game, and the players have certainly embraced that spirit,” Earl Eddings said.
After the ugly incident, former skipper Steven Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned for a year whereas opener Cameron Bancroft faced a 9-month ban. This also led to CA officials quitting including head coach Darren Lehmann.
The Australian cricket culture was labelled ”arrogant” in an independent review commissioned by CA. It also suggested that the spirit of the game took a step back as Australians wanted to win at any cost.
According to Eddings, there have been substantial changes and players have learned their lessons.
“While there is always room for improvement, these are very good signs which demonstrate meaningful change and will have a positive and lasting impact on Australian cricket at all levels,” he said.
The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) also lauded players efforts of players working towards the cultural change. This is their first violation-free season in seven years.
“At all levels, the players understand their role as ambassadors in growing the game and are to be congratulated for the way they are conducting themselves both on and off the field,” ACA president Greg Dyer said.