‘Australia has failed the Baggy Green’
REVERED former Australian captain Steve Waugh says the current Aussie team has "failed" the culture of the baggy green with their ball-tampering antics in Cape Town.
In a powerfully worded statement on his Facebook page, Waugh, who famously began the tradition of wearing the baggy green cap in the first session of Test matches, said he was "deeply troubled" by the events in South Africa.
A champion of the spirit of cricket, he called for the original document created by the MCC, which he helped modify in 2013, should be recast to bind players closer to it and safeguard the future of the sport.
"Like many I'm deeply troubled by the events in Cape Town this last week, and acknowledge the thousands of messages I have received, mostly from heartbroken cricket followers worldwide," he wrote.
"The Australian Cricket team has always believed it could win in any situation against any opposition, by playing combative, skilful and fair cricket, driven by our pride in the fabled Baggy Green.
"I have no doubt the current Australian team continues to believe in this mantra, however some have now failed our culture, making a serious error of judgement in the Cape Town Test match.
"In 2003, we modified the Spirit of Cricket document originally created by the MCC, to empower our players to set their own standards and commit to play the Australian way.
"We must urgently revisit this document, re-bind our players to it and ensure the spirit in which we play is safe-guarded for the future of the sport, and to continue to inspire the dreams of every young kid picking up a bat and ball and for every fan who lives and breathes the game.
"A focused and balanced perspective is needed in the condemnation on those involved in this, with a clear and critical consideration to the social impact and mental health of all players.
"I will support all positive action to ensure an outcome for the betterment of the game, regaining the trust and faith of every fan of cricket."