‘Isn’t it about winning?’: Border backs Aussie mentality
FORMER Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland has been accused of having told the national players that winning was the only acceptable outcome.
The backlash has been swift, with the likes of former Test great Ian Chappell and Greg Matthews accusing the governing body of cultivating the toxic culture that came to a head with the ball tampering fiasco in South Africa in March.
But former captain Allan Border has thrown his support behind the under-fire administration, saying that at the international level it is all about getting results.
"I'm not too sure what to make of all that (criticism of the win-at-all-costs mentality), because once you get to this level of sport, isn't it about winning?" Border questioned.
"Yes, how you win is very, very important, but it is about winning.
"And I don't think we're going to tolerate having 11 great blokes out in the field and not winning any games. That won't last, it's not sustainable.
"It's how you win that's very, very important... You play hard and you play fair but you play to win. At this level it's as simple as that."
Of course, Border is not excusing the cheating in Cape Town, but he pins the blame on the players involved and not on the pressure from the hierarchy.
"Look, there's been a bit of a fall-out as far as the administration goes, as far as this ball tampering saga is concerned, but the players are the ones who committed the offence and they knew what they were doing," he said.
"It's not as if they woke up one morning and this has just happened. Ball tampering as far as I'm aware has been going on for quite a long time, and not just from Australians.
"So, we've got to take a bit of a deep breath on that, the players knew what they were doing, so I'm not sure whether you should link players and administrators just on that alone."
He hopes the review will help Australian cricket to restore its 'hard but fair' reputation, but he stops short of saying a clean-out is necessary.
"There were maybe certain areas of the game where we just lost our way as to how we should play - playing it hard but playing it fair is very, very important. And that's the way I hope all Australian teams have played.
"We've maybe lost our way a little bit in recent times but it's quite easy I think to address all that, and maybe it's a report like this that gives everyone a good kick in the backside as to where we've got to, and where we need to get to in the future."