Jan 3 (Sydney Morning Herald) – The Australian Federal Police are investigating a historical sexual assault case arising from a Cricket Australia under-19 tour to India and Sri Lanka in 1985.
The ABC reports former Victorian batsman and first-class umpire Jamie Mitchell wants answers as to what happened to him in the final days of the tour — he alleges he was sexually assaulted in his Colombo hotel room after being left “barely conscious” following an injection by team doctor Malcolm McKenzie who died in 1998.
The AFP is investigating what happened on the tour and is attempting to establish who allegedly sexually assaulted Mr Mitchell who told a number of people of the incident after his return home before repressing the memory for decades.
In August last year, Mr Mitchell decided to start seeking answers, which led him to contact Cricket Australia and Sports Integrity Australia. Sports Integrity Australia referred the case to the AFP.
Players from the tour, several of whom went on to have long careers as first-class or international cricketers, have raised concerns about the management of the tour and the lack of response from the Australian Cricket Board, now Cricket Australia, despite letters being sent by parents and persistent rumours about the incidents being covered up.
Mr Mitchell told the ABC the injection had left him with hazy memories, and he hoped the investigation could shed “honest” light on what had happened to him.
“I remember the doctor, Malcolm McKenzie, giving me a jab of what I thought was penicillin,” Mr Mitchell told the ABC.
“My teammates left. Anyone could have come in and had access to me.
“Most of the guys have said they lost me for a couple of days. They remember putting me under the shower the next morning, to get me ready for the flight. They remember trying to dress me. And when we landed, I was wheeled to my parents in a wheelchair.”
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The ABC reported Mr Mitchell first went public about the matter in August via a detailed Facebook post and followed that with calls to former teammates and others trying to piece together what had happened.
Mr Mitchell expressed disappointment in the current Cricket Australia administration’s response when he first approached them. He said the organisation only offered him support and counselling in November after he received support from Sports Integrity Australia.
The ABC reports Cricket Australia is co-operating with the AFP investigation although Mr Mitchell and the ABC were not given access to the team manager’s report from the tour. Cricket Australia said it could not be released because it could compromise the AFP investigation.
The AFP told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald that it did not comment on specific investigations.
Cricket Australia now requires applicants for jobs to pass working with children checks and other safeguards but those requirements were not in use in 1985.