Pat Howard has denied pushing a win-at-all-costs mentality and says he was not involved in player interviews in South Africa.
Pat Howard has denied pushing a win-at-all-costs mentality and says he was not involved in player interviews in South Africa.

Howard: Test team culture failings not mine

CRICKET Australia high performance boss Pat Howard says he shouldn't have to take full responsibility for the culture failings of the Test team in South Africa.

With CA about to appoint a new chief executive, Howard said his future in the job he had held since 2011 would depend on what was deemed to be "in the best interests of the business".

Speaking for the first time since the sandpaper crisis in March, Howard said his responsibility for the events in Cape Town should be viewed in the context that he was in charge of all the other Australian teams, which hadn't had problems.

He denied pushing a win-at-all-costs mentality and said he was not involved in player interviews in South Africa and couldn't be certain ball tampering didn't take place before Cape Town.

He also said he took no part in the selection process, but provided data when requested, and believed the channels of communication to the selectors were clear.

It is anticipated Howard will be the man under the most heat when the cultural review is handed down.

Australian coach Justin Langer with high performance manager Pat Howard.
Australian coach Justin Langer with high performance manager Pat Howard.

"It'll be interesting where that goes and I don't know where that's going. I haven't had anything to do with it," Howard said.

"I'm in charge of men's and women's teams and underage teams so I guess if the environment had been the same everywhere … then I would have a different view, but I don't think (problems) have been consistent across all the teams.

"The cultural review did ask about that (win-at-all-costs) and I said I'm happy to give you my KPIs (key performace indicators) as a starting point.

"About 25 per cent is on outcomes, ie winning, and then there's a lot of stuff in line with strategy and which is available freely.

Australia high performance manager Pat Howard speaks to media during the tour South Africa. Picture: Luke Bowden
Australia high performance manager Pat Howard speaks to media during the tour South Africa. Picture: Luke Bowden

"Don't get me wrong,  I want people to be the best they can be, me included, players, managers all of us, but I don't believe I have a win-at-all-costs culture.

"My proudest ever tour was the 2017 Indian tour, which we lost."

Howard said he did not sit in on CA's investigative interviews with players and staff in South Africa and therefore he couldn't comment on whether the process was wide-ranging enough to guarantee that ball-tampering hadn't happened previously, or if others outside of David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft might have had knowledge.

"I know there's some innuendo around that sort of stuff … but (whether it had happened before) wasn't investigated at the time," he said.

"I think that will come out if that's the case over this next couple of weeks (with the cultural review) but I'll be surprised (if it happened), I genuinely would be.

"But I have an open mind. I don't have that information and I can't confirm or deny as I wasn't in those meetings."

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