Play­ers hope to keep fans clear on facts

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - BEN HORNE

PLAY­ERS are con­fi­dent they main­tain the sup­port of an in­creas­ingly disil­lu­sioned crick­et­ing pub­lic, as they yes­ter­day tem­pered a planned boy­cott of South Africa with a pro­posal to save the all- im­por­tant Ashes.

The game has ën­dured months of ugly fight­ing be­tween Cricket Aus­tralia and the play­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion and yes­ter­day an Aus­tralia A side led by Us­man Khawaja con­firmed they are set to aban­don a tour of South Africa.

Frus­trated play­ers united as one at an ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing in Syd­ney adamant Cricket Aus­tralia’s hard­ball tac­tics left them no choice but to hit back with their own pow­er­ful mes­sage and down tools for the A tour.

But the ACA an­nounced the unan­i­mous de­ci­sion to put the blow­torch back on CA by re­fus­ing to play wouldn’t come at the ex­pense of cricket’s great­est show­piece – the Ashes – which they pro­pose can be res­cued by sub- con­tract­ing player rights back to Cricket Aus­tralia if nec­es­sary.

A war over the rev­enue share model threat­ens to tear the sum­mer pas­time apart, and Aus­tralian Crick­eters As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive Shane Wat­son yes­ter­day ac­knowl­edged that the fight will be for noth­ing if the play­ers lose the lifeblood of the game – the fan.

“It’s as sim­ple as un­der­stand­ing we’re not ask­ing for more money,” Wat­son said.

Crick­eter Shane Wat­son.

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