Performance incentives should be linked to character: Ethics Professor’s lecture to BCCI

The who’s who of Indian cricket listened as the man who was part of Australia’s ‘cultural review’ after the ball-tampering scandal delivered a lecture on ethics and good governance here on Tuesday, the big takeaway being that incentives should be linked to character and social conduct.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA), along with NCA’s Cricket Operations head Rahul Dravid, attended the lecture by Dr Simon Longstaff, who supervised Cricket Australia’s ‘Cultural Review’ report which led to landmark changes in their win-at-all-cost approach.

“Every game goes through ups and down, that’s fine. He (lecturer) was here for something, we spoke to him and he gave a lecture. But it was not related to Indian cricket, it was a general talk. We are not saying that there is an issue of ethics in Indian cricket,” CoA member Lt Gen (Retd) Thodge told reporters.

However, the session turned out to be an informative and interactive one for those who attended it.

“One of the notable points that he said was that a player’s on-field performance is just one of the parameters for financial incentives. At the international level, his character, along with on and off-field conduct, should also be taken into account while rewarding him financially,” a senior BCCI official, who attended the lecture told reporters on conditions of anonymity.

“It was a very interactive session and we got to know a lot about Cricket Australia’s Cultural Review report. In fact, one of the attendees asked Dr Longstaff post lecture why only (Steve) Smith, (Cameron) Bancroft and (David) Warner were banned? If they were tampering with the ball, then the bowlers were also complicit but they didn’t pay the price,” another executive, who attended the meeting said.

“To this Dr Longstaff said that it was not only him but a team that prepared the report,” he added.

Dr Longstaff feels that if conduct and character are not taken into account then players are ready to cross any line to win at all cost, something that was prominently mentioned in his 145-page ‘Cultural Review’ report after Smith, Warner and Bancroft were banned for ball tampering in South Africa in March 2018.

Dr Longstaff’s lecture was attended by the entire CoA, BCI CEO Rahul Johri, Dravid, NCA and IPL COOs Toofan Ghosh and Hemang Amin along with the entire Cricket Operations as well as the High Performance team at the NCA. The initiative was organised by Board’s legal firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and held at a five-star facility in South Mumbai.

“It was basically on ethics and ethics is important as cricket is called Gentleman’s game till the betting scandal hit it,” Thodge said.

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