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Cricket Australia undeterred by players' lack of engagement

Cricket

Cricket Australia’s new chief executive Kevin Roberts has reaffirmed his commitment to working with the players despite suggestions of a disconnect.

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Just 29 per cent of current Australian cricketers chose to have their say in the independent survey which formed the basis of Monday’s damning 145-page report.

But Roberts, CA’s front man for last year’s protracted and bitter pay negotiations, was far from put-off by the lacklustre response to the culture survey.

“We would obviously hope to receive more responses than that,” he told Channel Seven’s Sunrise.

“But that was the players’ call. What I can say is when I engage with players in this new role, I’ll be engaging with 100 per cent of them.”

Australian captain Tim Paine, Rachael Haynes, Pat Cummins, Shane Watson, George Bailey and coach Justin Langer were on the panel that helped former Test opener Rick McCosker conduct the player-led review.

The Ethics Centre’s report, commissioned after the South African ball-tampering scandal, described CA as “arrogant” and “controlling” and found a constant complaint from players was that they were treated as “commodities”.

“We are human beings at the end of the day. We should be treated with more respect,” an anonymous player is quoted as saying in the report.

“You get dropped by phone – who else loses their job over the phone?”

Roberts acknowledged the need for greater respect but said the report was always likely to expose their flaws.

“The reality is that the report, which was independent, didn’t ask people to tell us all of the good things about cricket,” he said.

“It focused in on all of the things we need to improve. We’ve got to go forward with an open mind and a spirit of humility and respect to deepen these relationships across the game.”

Roberts said the Australian team would never lose its will to win despite the report making several recommendations to stamp out abusive sledging.

“The goal of our teams will be to win – and we shouldn’t hide from that,” he said.

“We’ve got to compete with respect and we’ve got to win with honour. They’re the non-negotiable expectations.”

– AAP

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