Sydney - The man who led a 2011 review into the Australian
cricket team believes the ball-tampering scandal stems from a sense of
entitlement among players, highlighted by a bitter pay dispute last year.
WATCH: Shocking scenes at OR Tambo as Steve Smith needs police escort
Sparked by a poor Ashes series, the review, headed by Don
Argus alongside former ICC chief Malcolm Speed and greats Allan Border, Steve
Waugh and Mark Taylor, led to an overhaul of how the Australian team was led
But Argus said it appeared standards had slipped, with
players becoming driven more by money and less by the contribution they make to
"When you think about the pedestal we put our
cricketers on, to them wealth seems to be a right, not a reward," he told
The Australian newspaper.
"In all that noise about the pay dispute, they were
saying this is our right, rather than a reward for creating something of value
and being a responsible citizen.
"When you have an industrial dispute like that, it
takes a team of people and a fair bit of time to get over it. I see that
playing out here."
The acrimonious pay dispute rattled the sport, badly
damaging relations between players and Cricket Australia.
It was sparked by the governing body attempting to scrap the
revenue-sharing deal that has governed players' salaries since their first
memorandum of understanding was brokered 20 years ago.
In the end, after months of mud-slinging and with
broadcasters and sponsors applying pressure, the players came out on top in a
five-year agreement worth an estimated $396 million.
David Warner, at the heart of the ball-tampering scandal
that has seen him and disgraced captain Steve Smith banned for a year, was a
key protagonist in the dispute.
Australian media have widely pointed to Warner as being the
chief plotter in using sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during a
Test in South Africa last weekend, and that Smith effectively turned a blind
Argus, a former head of mining giant BHP and banking
heavyweight NAB, suggested Smith was appointed captain because he was
Australia's best cricketer, rather than the most qualified leader, and that he
struggled to stand up to a strong character such as Warner.
As part of the Argus review, a leadership consultant was
brought in to help then newly appointed-captain Michael Clarke develop the
skills he needed to head the country's most important sporting team.
Argus said he was not sure that Smith got the same level of
"I can go through corporations where you had some very
smart people who wouldn't lead you across the road," he said.
"Cricket is no different. They picked Steve because of
his obvious talents with a cricket bat, but if Steve comes under a very strong
individual like David Warner ... maybe he can't handle that scene."
Cricket Australia has announced another review into team
culture in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.
READ: A look at the 48 matches banned Smith, Warner will miss