Cricket Australia to meet senior players to repair relationship


Melbourne : Cricket Australia (CA) is preparing a summit with senior players to repair the fracturing relationship with its players, the media reported Friday.

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According to a report in The Australian, the summit was originally scheduled for this week to discuss what the players believe has been a glaring lack of support over critical issues but was postponed because of a chronic back injury to CA chairman Creagh O’Connor.

CA’s relationship with its players deteriorated after it reprimanded Matthew Hayden for calling Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh an “obnoxious little weed”. CA’s decision to scold Hayden was seen as the latest example of appeasing the financially powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“Matty (Hayden) says that and they (Indian players) have got all sorts of comments again through the newspapers, a lot of which have no fact or truth in them whatsoever, but that’s what we’ve had to deal with right the way through the summer,” Ponting was quoted as saying by The Australian.

Players still feel let down by the failure of CA to support Ponting and Andrew Symonds in particular over a racial abuse case Ponting brought against Harbhajan under International Cricket Council (ICC) procedures.

CA claimed Thursday night that a dinner involving O’Connor, chief executive James Sutherland and possibly other officials, with leading players, was originally proposed by Hayden after the Adelaide Test, when CA convinced its players to downgrade the racial abuse charge against Harbhajan.