Blueprint: Australian team to play for right reasons, says Cummins

Australian pace ace Pat Cummins says cricketers of all levels will know what is expected of them in their behaviour and standards once the report into the culture of the Australian team is released.

Cummins is one of dozens of former and current players who have been interviewed by Rick McCosker, the former Test batsman charged with the responsibility of reviewing the Australian team's culture, with the fast bowler giving his thoughts on the team over the past decade and "what we did really well and what we can work on".

Current and former players, coaches, staff and media figures are among those who are being interviewed, with the report expected to be released by the end of November.

The report was initiated in wake of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, and is separate to the report on Cricket Australia's culture conducted by The Ethics Centre.

Cummins said the McCosker report would provide a blueprint for cricketers of all ages, with new head coach Justin Langer to have a major input.

"They are also talking about a framework say, as the Australian cricket team, what we want to pride ourselves on and, of course, JL has a massive input on that," he said.

"So whether you get an under-10s side in western Sydney or the Australian cricket side, everyone knows what is acceptable and what it not acceptable. And try and play by those rules."

In a video interview with the Australian Cricketers Association, Cummins said it was important the Australian side, led by new captain Tim Paine, played more with the joyful innocence of a junior side.

"It's important that we don't lose that perspective when we are playing, try to play for the same reasons as the kids that are playing in the backyard when they are seven or eight years old. It's really important we don't forget about that; try and uphold how we want to play the game," he said.

Cummins and fellow quicks Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are in Brisbane this week training with the Australia A squad, hoping to intensify their comebacks from injury.

Starc was forced out of the final Test against South Africa in April and the Indian Premier League with a tibial bone stress reaction in his right leg. Cummins has had bone oedema in his vertebrae, while Hazlewood has had a back issue.

The fallout from South Africa has been vast, with International Cricket Council chief Dave Richardson again calling for players to respect the game more while delivering the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's on Monday. He also revealed players were still questioning what constituted ball tampering.

"Over the last few months I’ve read comments from players requesting guidance on what is allowed in relation to the ball. Asking if they can chew gum, wear sunscreen or drink a sugary drink, and to be brutally honest, I find this a little disingenuous," he said.

"The laws are simple and straight forward – do not change the condition of the ball using an artificial substance. If you are wearing sunscreen, sucking a mint or chewing gum with the intent of using the cream or sugary saliva on the ball, you are ball tampering.

"You may not always get caught, we are not going to stop players chewing gum or from wearing sunscreen. There are many players who have chewed gum on the field throughout their careers, and never once thought to use it on the ball, but if you are caught – and we have only caught players when it is pretty obvious what they are doing – then don’t complain. Saying others do it is not a defence – you are cheating."

Richardson, the former South African wicketkeeper in the verbally robust side of the 1990s, also said "sledging" for the most part was a waste of time but banter added to the game's "mystique".

"I think in most cases sledging-chirping is a waste of time, often resorted to by players who are trying to psyche themselves up or boost their own lack of confidence, and very often it's counter-productive," he said.

"We tried to unsettle Steve Waugh by asking him what it was like to be the unpopular twin, with Mark getting all the toys when they were growing up – it had no effect and only made him more determined, seemingly getting runs whenever he batted against us."

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