WACA draw line on Scorchers saga
WACA draw line on Scorchers saga

The WACA denies it’s taken a soft stance towards player misbehaviour despite failing to dish out any penalties for the Perth Scorchers’ boozy night out in South Africa.

A review of the tour found 14 of the 15-man player group, as well as two staff members, attended a team dinner on October 18 to celebrate Mitch Marsh’s 21st birthday.

Allrounder Nathan Coulter-Nile was ill that night and stayed at the team hotel.

WACA chief executive Christina Matthews revealed senior batsman Simon Katich and spinner Brad Hogg went home after the dinner, but everyone else kicked on to a nearby lounge bar, where the drinks flowed.

Players were clearly feeling the worse for wear at a bowling session the next day on October 19, while the coaching staff still noticed the group were off their game at a team training session the day after that.

The Scorchers needed to win their next game on October 21 to have a chance of reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League Twenty20, but lost to the Delhi Daredevils by three wickets.

Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Ben Edmondson and Nathan Rimmington were subsequently dropped for the final game against the Auckland Aces as punishment for their compromised preparation.

WA cricket has been starved of success for almost a decade, with the Warriors’ last piece of silverware being their one-day triumph in 2003/04.

WACA chairman David Williams said an independent review would be launched to identify underlying culture issues.

“Many might see this as a soft decision in that we could have been punitive and fined or not selected varying numbers of them,“ Williams said on Wednesday.

“But I hope this is a point in time where the players, administration and board say ’right, that’s the line in the sand’.

“We want high performance. Words are cheap.

“We will be judged by what we do, not by what we said today.

“A code of conduct and behavioural guidelines will be developed with education opportunities identified and resources made available to players and staff.

“There will also be an individual focus on counselling strategies, as needed, for members of the playing group.”

The fallout from the tour has already been big for Mitch Marsh, who was overlooked for Australia A selection for this week’s clash with South Africa in Sydney.

Marcus North stepped down as WA skipper on Monday, but claimed that was due to his lean run with the bat rather than the team’s misbehaviour in South Africa.

Adam Voges is the frontrunner to replace North as skipper for the remainder of the season, but Williams acknowledged there was a leadership vacuum within WA cricket ranks.

“Where we are light on is leadership - hard, uncompromising leadership in the dressing room like we had with (John) Inverarity and (Graeme) Wood and all the rest,” Williams said.

The West Australian

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