Cut­backs plan riles play­ers

The Advertiser - - SPORT - PETER LALOR

PLAY­ERS have ac­cused Cricket Aus­tralia of con­fus­ing the cost and value of its as­sets in re­ac­tion to news the ad­min­is­tra­tion is con­sid­er­ing re­duc­ing the num­ber of Sh­effield Shield and Women’s Big Bash games this sea­son.

The Aus­tralian Crick­eters As­so­ci­a­tion has re­jected claims by Cricket Aus­tralia that the game is in fi­nan­cial strife, telling mem­bers cricket is in a healthy state com­pared to win­ter sports and re­ject­ing calls for pre-emp­tive pay cuts.

Cost-cut­ting at state and na­tional level has trig­gered de­bate about what is im­por­tant to the game.

On Wed­nes­day, plans were re­vealed to cut the Sh­effield Shield back to eight rounds and drop the fi­nal, with sim­i­lar de­signs to cut back the WBBL and/or the women’s do­mes­tic one day com­pe­ti­tion, the WNCL.

Test opener Joe Burns said he was a fan of the 10-round Shield com­pe­ti­tion.

“I love the fact we’ve got a re­ally strong first-class sys­tem, that there’s 10 games to play ev­ery­one twice ... it leads to world-class play­ers com­ing into the Test team,” Burns said.

For­mer women’s star Lisa Sthalekar slammed the move to re­duce the WBBL sea­son, say­ing that women’s cricket was on a high af­ter the T20 World Cup and would be the first thing the pub­lic saw this sum­mer.

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