‘I don’t even think they asked the players’
FORMER Australian cricketer Mark Taylor is favoured to take over the reigns of Cricket Australia following David Peever's resignation.
As the sport continues to reel in the wake of the devastating independent cultural review, which was released Monday, Taylor has spoken about the turmoil.
Taylor and fellow former player Ian Chappell fronted up on Channel 9's Sports Sunday to discuss the "horrific" week that has consumed the nation.
The fallout to the review has seen Peever tender his resignation as the chairman of the board, while calls have been made for the instant dismissal of the bans on Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
"It has been a horrific week, no doubt about it. It has been a horrific week for cricket in this country and I will say for me personally as well," Taylor said.
"I didn't enjoy reading the initial draft of the document and I didn't enjoy this week. I knew it would put David's position under pressure and unfortunately he ended up resigning through that.
"So whenever you lose a chairman of a cricket board, it is a horrific week and a sad week for the game."
Taylor said the responsibility should have been shared among the Cricket Australia board and Peever wasn't solely to blame.
"In the report it says Cricket Australia should share in the responsibility. We should. That's our men's cricket team out there.
"Yes, we should share responsibility. And yes, we need to get better.
"That's what the culture review shows. We need the culture of Australian cricket and the people who work in it to get it so much better."
A key bone of contention in the wake of the report was with Peever being reappointed for a further three years prior to the review being released.
Fairfax columnist Peter FitzSimons pointed the question in the direction of Taylor, asking him:
"Was it ludicrous to have been reappointed for a three-year term when you knew that report was coming down?"
"In hindsight, yes. What should have happened - and I don't think there is anything too
scurrilous about the timing of the report. I'm on the subcommittee," Taylor responded.
"I only got the report two days before the AGM, the final redacted copy. I got it Tuesday night.
"If that is the case for David, we knew it was going to be hard, we would have been better off pushing the AGM back a week."
Taylor also addressed the Australian Cricketers' Association press conference in which they called for the bans to be immediately lifted - an opportunistic demand that was torn to shreds by Simon O'Donnell.
"I was disappointed with the events of Tuesday because only 22 hours after the release of the findings, the ACA had a press conference and said 'all right, we are here we now want those bans reduced,'" Taylor said.
"What they have done - I don't even think they actually asked the players if they wanted that done. So the three players have now got to sort of file in behind them.
"That straightaway puts the Cricketers' Association and Cricket Australia at odds because we are going to have this debate now in the public arena about whether it should be released or not.
"The problem is, once again in the words of Longstaff, it is going to be a win without counting a cost. The cost will be the three players in the middle and their culture and their mental health over the next, whatever it is, month or two months, however long it takes, well maybe two weeks, to get this sorted out."
Talk around the bans has become a focal point since the review findings were released, but Taylor remains steadfast in his stance the bans should remain in place.
"I have to be a careful here because we now have a submission about the ACA about whether the bans should be lifted," Taylor said.
"But as I said on the show last week, the review that was done by Simon Longstaff, people grab out bits they want to grab out.
"The ACA have done that, said the culture is bad around the cricket team. Therefore, that is Cricket Australia's fault.
"I will read one other comment that came out of the Longstaff Review. It said 'this does not excuse individuals of responsibility for their acts and omissions'. That's in the report as well. "So it all depends on which little bit you want to grab, whether you want them to come back earlier or not. That's what we have to work through."
Chappell backed up Taylor's thoughts on the bans, stating "the bans have been instituted. I think they should be completed".
The fallout to the review will continue as the Australian cricket summer gets underway on Sunday afternoon with the opening one-dayer between the Aussies and South Africa.