Players must have a voice in Pink Ball Test talks

29 Apr 2016

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The Chief Executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, Alistair Nicholson said today the legitimate concerns of the players had to be heard in the current discussions on the Day-Night Test match cricket issue.

The ACA welcome the news that Cricket Australia and Cricket South Africa continue talks regarding Pink Ball Test cricket, however there are concerns that the current discussions have not taken in to account the view of the Australian players.

Responding to calls for the players to “see the bigger picture” regarding Day-Night Tests, Mr Nicholson emphasised the ongoing role that the players had played in the innovation of cricket.

“The players are supportive of innovation and certainly see the bigger picture. It’s about growing the game through high quality cricket, accessible to as many people as possible.

“That’s why we urge more formal discussions with the players having a seat at the table. On behalf of the players the ACA would welcome that.

“For decades the players have actively supported innovation in the game including the more recent emphasis on bringing on-ground commentary to the fans, and the way the players were behind the inaugural Day-Night Test in Adelaide last summer.

“Every time an Australian team walks on to the field they are looking to provide an entertaining brand of cricket and have always played for a result.”

Explaining the reasons why the players are often at the forefront of cricket innovation, Mr Nicholson indicated one reason being the model that supports the growth of the game. “Since 1998 the players have been part of a revenue sharing model which has meant that as the game grows, both the administration and the players grow with it. It is a financial model that continues to work for the game and is why the financial position of cricket in Australia is so strong.

“The players are key drivers in the growth of the game.”

However, Mr Nicholson expressed concern at the lack of consultation considered by Cricket Australia when it came to formulating the upcoming test fixture.

“The recent media regarding whether South Africa will or won’t play a Day-Night Test is only one part of the equation. There are many other factors to be considered.

“The feedback we are receiving from our playing group is that there still remains concerns over Day-Night Tests and whilst there is acknowledgement that this format may grow the game, at this stage the players would prefer to only play one Day-Night Test in 2016/17.”

Addressing the specific concerns of the players, Mr Nicholson’s feedback from the players was quite specific

“Pink ball tests are a fundamentally different game to traditional red ball test matches.

“We continue to be concerned about the durability and visibility of the pink ball, both the changing light conditions and the specifically prepared pitches are altering the conditions that the players are used to at each venue.”