In a first, Cricket Australia (CA) on Tuesday appointed Simon Longstaff as an independent ethics commissioner, who will advise the national sport’s governing body on matters that might arise, “including but not limited to administration, governance, transparency and on or off-field behavior”.
Longstaff will have direct access to the CA chairman and board for advice on ethical matters, according to a statement issued by Cricket Australia.
Longstaff is not new to the role as he led the independent organizational review into Australian cricket in 2018 as executive director of The Ethics Centre.
Australian cricket was in the midst of a massive ethical crisis in 2018 when three of its players, including the-then Test skipper Steve Smith, his then deputy David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, were allegedly involved in ball-tampering during the Test series in South Africa.
The trio was banned for varying periods not exceeding a year in the wake of the scandal, which also came to be known as ‘Sandpaper-gate’.
“CA has actioned the majority of recommendations of this report and Dr. Longstaff’s pivotal role in the review makes him an ideal candidate to take up this position. The Ethics Commissioner role will work collaboratively with the CA Board, State and Territory Associations, and the Australian Cricketers’ Association,” said the CA statement.
“The creation of the role of CA Ethics Commissioner, and Dr. Longstaff’s appointment, are significant steps for Australian cricket,” said CA Chair Lachlan Henderson.
“Not only have we embraced the key recommendations of The Ethics Centre Review, but this initiative will also help to ensure the best process to review ethical issues in cricket that might arise in the future.
“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.
“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,” he added.
Longstaff had become the first executive Director of The Ethics Centre in 1991 and has experience in providing advice on ethics to professional organizations. In 2013 he was awarded the Order of Australia for “distinguished service to the community through the promotion of ethical standards in governance and business, to improving corporate responsibility, and to philosophy.”