James Sutherland backs 'homework-gate' axing

James SutherlandSutherland said they lay great emphasis on players' all round development. (Reuters)

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland today backed the team management that had axed four players, including then vice-captain Shane Watson, ahead of the Mohali Test against India in March on ground of breach of discipline.

Speaking for the first time on the issue which became a talking point during Australia's disastrous series, Sutherland said he has "in-depth" understanding of what had happened at that time.

Coach Mickey Arthur had dropped Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson for the third Test of the series for not providing written feedback on how to improve their own and the team's performance.

"I'm disappointed we got to that stage. I now have a pretty in-depth understanding of where and how it got to there and I'm still disappointed that it happened in the circumstances when it got to there and how it got to there," Sutherland told 'ESPNcricinfo'.

"I'm supportive of the decisions that were made at the time and I'm a really firm believer in the fact that those decisions will ultimately stand us in good stead as we build to sustained performance at the highest level.

"I think it's pretty well understood internally what I think about it, and the need for us to ensure those things are dealt with better before they ever get to that stage," he added.

Sutherland insisted that the decision was not influenced by one particular issue.

"It would be dangerous to narrow it down to one or two things. It was a culmination of a whole lot of things, and to pinpoint it as being communication of people not necessarily understanding where they were... yes that is one of the reasons no doubt. But there's a whole lot of others as well I think."

Sutherland said they lay great emphasis on players' all round development.

... contd.

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