Australia board appoints culture review author as ethics boss

Cricket Australia (CA) has appointed Simon Longstaff as its inaugural ethics commissioner, four years after he led a scathing review of the board’s culture in the wake of the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

The first recommendation of Longstaff’s 2018 review was for CA to set up an ethics commission to hold administrators, players and staff accountable to the “ethical foundations for the game as played in Australia”.

CA, in its response to the review, said it supported the recommendation and would appoint an independent ethics commissioner with direct access to the chair and board.

Four years on, CA confirmed Longstaff in the role on Tuesday, saying his “pivotal involvement” in the review made him an ideal candidate.

“The CA board and our state and territory colleagues are committed to improving governance structures in cricket and the ethics commissioner will provide a vital reference point for issues that impact CA and the game more broadly,” CA chair Lachlan Henderson said in a statement.

“Having led the 2018 review, Dr Longstaff has a detailed understanding of the challenges the game has faced and the progress that has been made in recent times.

“We look forward to working with him for the betterment of cricket.”

CA has implemented most of the 42 recommendations contained in Longstaff’s 2018 review but the board has drawn criticism over its handling of a number of sensitive issues in recent years, ranging from player misconduct to economic challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

CA was embroiled in scandal last year after revelations that former test captain Tim Paine was investigated in 2018 for sending sexually explicit messages to a female former Cricket Tasmania staffer.

Former players and pundits were also up in arms over CA’s treatment of former head coach Justin Langer.

Langer, who oversaw Australia’s maiden T20 World Cup title in late-2021 and a thumping Ashes series win over the home summer, resigned in acrimony in February after CA declined to offer him a long-term contract extension.

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