Channel 9 insists for control greater in Australian selection despite Cricket Australia's stance

Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland has said that team selection and scheduling were matters for the governing body. He also said that broadcasters will not be involved © Getty Images

Sydney: Jun 20, 2013

Fresh tensions have erupted between Cricket Australia (CA) and Channel Nine after a leading executive reportedly said that the network expected to have a greater say not only in scheduling but also in team selection.

This comes after CA rejected suggestions that Channel Nine would influence Australian team selection and scheduling as part of its new 450 million-dollar deal on TV rights.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Nine managing director Jeff Browne said that although he was aware that maintaining players’ fitness was a concern of CA management, he made no secret of his view on the implementation of any rotation policy.

”I understand why sports want to do that, but people at home want to see the best players playing and we urge Cricket Australia to pick the best players every time. We’ve got to have the best players on the paddock to rate,” Browne said.

”I think we’ve got a better understanding on that. Last year that balance was skewed too much in favour of resting some players so from now on there will be a lot more discussion between CA and the broadcaster about that.

”I am not pushing a black letter-print solution because I believe the discussions we’ve had with them so far will give us a solution.”

But CA Chief Executive James Sutherland had rejected the deal’s impact, especially on national selection issues, saying that although cricket has a long-standing and successful relationship with the Nine Network, but team selections and scheduling are matters only for CA.

The long-time cricket broadcaster made headlines last summer when it protested the rotation of players in the Australian team for One-Day Internationals.

Having been pressed to its financial limits to keep cricket following stiff competition from Network Ten, Nine has been keen to increase its influence on the scheduling of Test matches and other internationals during the Australian summer, the report added.

(With inputs from ANI)