Aus A coach hopes SA tour can still be sal­vaged

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - PETER BADEL

FOR­MER Test quick Ja­son Gille­spie has ap­pealed for cricket’s bit­ter pay dis­pute to be sorted out ur­gently as Aus­tralia A’s tour of South Africa hangs in the bal­ance.

Now coach of the Aus­tralia A team, Gille­spie is due to head over­seas on Satur­day with a strong squad head­lined by skip­per Us­man Khawaja, all­rounder Glenn Maxwell and quick Jackson Bird.

But the 71- Test vet­eran ad­mits the Aus­tralia A squad, which trained in Bris­bane yes­ter­day, is in limbo as Cricket Aus­tralia and the ACA fight to de­liver the sport’s next Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing.

Ten­sions in cricket’s pay dis­pute have be­come so acute that even for­mer Test open­ers Michael Slater and Ed Cowan clashed on ra­dio on Mon­day over an is­sue that has po­larised opin­ion.

The ACA will back a player boy­cott of the South African tour if their de­mands are not met by CA power­bro­kers, but Gille­spie re­mains hope­ful his Aus­tralia A squad will not be vic­tims of the im­passe.

“At this stage I gen­uinely don’t know if we are go­ing,” Gille­spie said.

“I would like to think the two sides can get to­gether and we can get on that plane and go to South Africa.

“It’s busi­ness as usual right now.”

Aus­tralia A coach Ja­son Gille­spie.

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