MEDIA RELEASE: Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) condemns ball tampering by taxpayer-funded cricket stars, calls for integrity and leadership

The ATA, a 50,000+ member grassroots public advocacy group representing the nation’s taxpayers, today condemned disgraceful conduct by members of the Australian cricket team who attempted to cheat and called for the immediate sacking of Captain Steven Smith and Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland. These actions, and the failure of Cricket Australia to show leadership by taking appropriate action against cheating players, have not only thrown the sport into disrepute, but have caused international embarrassment to Australia and show a lack of respect for taxpayer funds.

“Being Australian is about doing the right thing. How can Captain Steve Smith continue in his role after admitting to engaging with teammates in a deliberate conspiracy to cheat?” said Satyajeet Marar, Director of Policy at the ATA. “It was extremely disappointing to hear that Smith and other players conspired to alter the condition of the ball during the match against South Africa, but it is even more disappointing and shocking that Smith will take the field in Cape Town again this evening to represent our country as Captain with the full backing of Cricket Australia.

“Taxpayers provide millions in funding to Cricket Australia each year and have a right to expect that players who represent our country to the rest of the world at the highest levels engage in basic fair play and act with integrity. By failing to take appropriate action against Smith and Bancroft, Cricket Australia is treating both the sport as well as Australian cricket fans and taxpayers with contempt. Allowing offenders to continue as if nothing has happened until a ‘full inquiry’ has been undertaken is an insult to our collective intelligence and potentially a massive waste of resources when the offending players have already admitted to the egregious conduct in question.

“We call on Captain Steve Smith to step down and call on CA CEO James Sutherland and other leaders of Cricket Australia to show leadership and restore integrity to the game and our international reputation by taking appropriate action. Until real and meaningful leadership and accountability is shown, taxpayer funding of Cricket Australia must be shut off.”

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