Cricket 2022: Calls emerge for ex-NRL boss Todd Greenberg to become CA CEO, David Warner saga

Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley has responded to David Warner’s explosive comments throughout the week after withdrawing his bid to have his leadership ban overturned.

It comes as Australian Cricketers Association CEO Todd Greenberg has put his support behind Warner as the fallout of Cricket Australia’s handling of the star’s captaincy saga continues to boil over.

But after calling out CA over it’s handling of the entire affair, Greenberg has been tipped to potentially jump into Australian cricket’s hottest seat as pressure mounts on the current CEO Nick Hockley.

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Warner fired the first shot earlier in the week when he unleashed a furious Instagram post announcing he would not be seeking to overturn his leadership ban, blasting the “public lynching” he and his family have faced since the ball tampering scandal in 2018.

Although Steve Smith has come back and led Australia at international level, Warner was banned from holding a leadership position for the remainder of his career.

In November, Cricket Australia ratified a change to its Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel. The door appeared to be open for Warner to have his lifetime leadership ban overturned.

But as the hearings would be made public, Warner decided not to appeal his decision.

It was followed by the explosive accusation from Warner’s manager James Erskine that the players were told to ball tamper before the sandpaper scandal in South Africa.

Speaking on SEN Cricket on Friday afternoon, Hockley said he was “disappointed” Warner had withdrawn his appeal.

He also refuted Warner’s claim it would be a public hearing, saying the probe would not delve back into the ball tampering scandal.

“This was never and this was not re-looking at the events or the decision, this was about looking at the sanction and whether the behaviour since, and the remediation and remorse was such that the ban could be modified,” Hockley stated.

Hockley added Cricket Australia had wanted the hearing in private.

As for Erskine’s comments, Hockley was far from thrilled by the fresh allegations.

“I think they’re really unhelpful and unfounded comments,” Hockley said on SEN radio.

“I think as an investigation was done at the time – but I think it’s been said repeatedly, if new information is to be brought forward then as with any matter of integrity there are those avenues to bring forward information at any stage.

“But I think it goes to the point raised at the outset, this was never and not about relooking at the events or the decision. This was about looking at the sanction and whether behaviour since, and remediation, and the remorse was such that the ban could be modified.

“So I think to open up if, anything has been opened up, I think that’s totally counter to the objectives of the process. I think it’s precisely what David was hoping would not happen when he applied for it to be done in private.”

Earlier on Friday, the former NRL boss Greenberg said the cricketer’s association was right behind Warner’s decision to withdraw from the process.

“It was probably the only decision he could make, particularly as he is preparing for a Test match,” Greenberg said on SEN Cricket.

“The ACA raised this much earlier in the year, back in February, in the hope that it could be addressed in the off-season.

“But for David to be forced into a position on the eve of a Test match, I don’t think it serves him well, his family well, it certainly doesn’t serve the team well.

“It is a significantly missed opportunity for cricket and particularly for the BBL.”

Greenberg said the decision to take the hearings public “is beyond me and lacks a real level of common sense”.

He added Warner’s appeal would have been so he could impart his more than a decade of experience at the International level to the next generation.

Greenberg also hit out at Cricket Australia’s decision to hand the review process to an independent body.

“The moment Cricket Australia outsourced the review, in my view, they lost control of the process and I appreciate there are complexities with codes of conduct,” Greenberg said.

“I understand there is a level of detail, but it is fact that once it was outsourced, the process was lost.

“It’d be a fair understatement for me to say that we aren’t unbelievably frustrated, not just for David, for his teammates who I know are really annoyed around this process that was allowed to drag into the middle of the Test summer.

“Our request was pretty simple, it was simply to have a look at Dave’s suspension and ask for it to be reviewed in consideration of the manner he has served Cricket Australia over the last four years.

“What we got instead was a very convoluted event that somehow landed on a media event that wanted to rake over ground that David had already paid a heavy price for.

“It was a significant departure from the way in which the application we thought should have been dealt with over the Code of Conduct.”

The comments impressed former Aussie opener Simon Katich, who told SEN Hockley’s tenure as CA CEO comes under the microscope.

“Well it struck me (from Greenberg’s interview) the leadership and some of the answers he gave around what’s transpired and not just with the David Warner saga but probably in a number of areas over the last 12 months, and even going back to what happened in Cape Town,” said Katich.

“What stood out for me is he is a man who has a huge amount of experience. As a man who has come from the NRL. He’s now a CEO of the ACA and the way he spoke about this whole leadership to me screams of leadership.

“I think given the way things have unfolded in the last couple of days and the way CA has outsourced a lot of these tough leadership decisions which come with the roles, I think there’s going to be pressure on Nick Hockley moving forward and if this man is not in the mix, then I’ll be very surprised.”

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